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Healthy Living May Help Prevent Breast Cancer: Farmington Resources

Research shows good nutrition and exercise can help prevent breast cancer. Here are some resources around Farmington 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."

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."

In Farmington, many runners, walkers and bicyclists get their exercise on the town's many trails, including the Rails to Trails, with entrances on Brickyard Road, Red Oak Hill and Route 4 at River Road. The Central Wheel also runs a group bike ride on Saturday mornings. Links to local running groups can be found here

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.

Locally, you can find support managing your weight and nutrition through The Hospital of Central Connecticut, which has a weight loss center in Farmington, and the UConn Health Center provides nutrition counseling to manage weight for a variety of health concerns.

Deborah Netto October 07, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Great article. Would like to add some additional advice as a Certified Health Coach: we all have the ability to self heal, listen to your body and its innate intuition as to what foods and lifestyle behaviors are best for you as an individual. Not all diets work for everyone and they are usually based on taking away instead of adding in to your life. That strategy is much easier to cope with on a daily basis. That is why so many diets fail and people end up gaining more weight than when they started. Ps it is not a quick fix. Decades of unhealth cannot be undone in two months.

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