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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: Local Resources

Research shows good nutrition and exercise can help prevent breast cancer. Here are some resources between Lutherville and North County to help you stay healthy.

You might be able to find help fighting breast cancer and other types of cancers at your local grocery store and fitness centers, according to the research findings of Dr. Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D, RD. 

Dr. Neuhouser is a nutritional epidemiologist with a background in nutritional sciences. She is an investigator at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research is focused on lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Some factors may prevent breast and prostate cancer and improve survivorship in those diagnosed with cancer.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 American women will die from breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser’s research has found that for postmenopausal women in particular, being overweight or obese may increase the risk for breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser explains, “After menopause, estrogens are synthesized by adipose tissue—the more adipose a woman has, the more estrogen she will make. Adipose cells also synthesize inflammatory factors, which have been linked to breast cancer.”

One of the most important things a woman at risk for breast cancer can do, says Dr. Neuhouser, is to “maintain a healthy weight."  

Given what the research indicates, Dr. Neuhouser says, “One of the most important things is that if a woman is overweight or obese, she should be advised to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Daily physical activity and following healthy eating habits with plentiful fruits and vegetables and minimal empty calories and fried foods will help achieve these goals.”

Dr. Neuhouser says while it can be challenging to lose weight, “Small changes can add up and make a big difference."

If you have healthy lifestyle tips for readers in our Lutherville, Timonium, Cockeysville or Hunt Valley areas tell us about them in the comments section below.  

When it comes to getting active, Dr. Neuhouser says, "If someone is not used to physical activity, try a five to ten minute walk and gradually increase the time. Having physical activity partners or walking partners always helps. I know my soccer team will be waiting for me on the field, so even if I am tired or busy, I still show up."

One of the best ways to start getting more active is to join one of the Charm City Run weekly runners' groups. Charm City Run's Timonium location is located at 2045 York Rd. 

The shop hosts twice-weekly runners training groups year-round. You can also check Charm City's events calendar or get on their mailing list for information about upcoming races, 5Ks and more. 

On the topic of running, the intersection of health and breast cancer awareness meets in Hunt Valley on Oct. 21 for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. According to The Baltimore Sun, donations and registrations for the race are down this year because of the weak economy. This is the time to step up! 

When it comes to food, Dr. Neuhouser says, "Start with making one new food change each week. Instead of eating two cookies, eat just one.”

If you are concerned about your weight, Dr. Neuhouser suggests getting the support you need by asking your doctor for “ a referral to a reputable weight loss program.” For nutrition advice, Dr. Neuhouser recommends asking for a referral to a registered dietitian.

Luckily, Patch has its own registered dietician providing our readers with information about healthy eating and tips on weight loss every week on her blog. 

Meet Erin Peisach.

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Lutherville-Timonium Patch editor Nick DiMarco contributed to this report. 

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