What is the Situation of Breast Cancer in Pakistan? Around 90,000 cases are reported while 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year in Pakistan, which is the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia. According to the stats, 1 out of 9 women is at risk of having breast cancer in Pakistan, which means over 10 million women are at risk of getting Breast Cancer. How to reduce the mortality rate? To reduce the mortality rate, two things are most important. First, we all should try to prevent the disease through a healthy lifestyle as it is preventable up to 40% by adopting a healthy lifestyle. The second thing is early detection because if breast cancer is detected early, the chances of survival increases by 95%. That is why this year’s PINKtober theme is “Become A Better You” that revolves around a healthy lifestyle intending to improve the overall well-being of women and girls. What does a healthy lifestyle include? The immune system plays an important role in preventing different diseases, including breast cancer. For boosting your immune system, your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle that includes taking a healthy diet, practising hygiene, being physically active, getting adequate sleep and managing stress levels. Researches show that a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases are due to poor lifestyle choices and about one-third of the cancer deaths each year are due to lack of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition and physical activities. How food plays a role in Breast Cancer Prevention? Making proactive dietary choices can improve your overall well-being because it keeps your energy up, boosts your immune system, and provide nutrients that your body needs for maintenance and repair. A healthy diet can help in preventing and fighting breast cancer. The food contains plenty of compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water that are very helpful in fighting against cancer cells. Balanced nutrition boosts circulation and increase tissue oxygenation and help reduce inflammation and acids in the body. Carbohydrates give the body the fuel it needs for physical activity and proper organ function. Can you name some food items that help prevent Breast Cancer? Everyone should use organic and fresh food. Garlic, Ginger, Carrot, Cabbage, Cilantro, Broccoli, Onions, Black Pepper, Cauliflower, Brown Rice, Sprouted Wheat, Flax Seed, Mint, Basil, Oregano, Gourd and Zucchini help reduce chances of getting breast cancer and other diseases. What food we should avoid to prevent Breast Cancer? One should avoid bad fats, processed meat, overcooked and deep-fried food, fast food, refined carbs, white and brown sugar, carbonated drinks and packaged juices, excessive tea, coffee and tea whiteners, commercial mayonnaise, margarine, products with fructose corn syrup and sorbitol, genetically modified organisms, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, food additives, the preservatives, colouring and flavouring agents and supplements for cancer prevention. Is there anything else other than food we should avoid? Smoking and drinking are bad for your health, so quit both of them. Researches show that you can lower your risk of heart disease up to 50% if you quit smoking completely and if you give up drinking, the risk of developing cancer reduces quickly. Is being physically active important? Among women, obesity and weight gain during adulthood are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause. So, every woman having excess weight should limit high-calorie foods and beverages and increase physical activity to help with weight loss. Exercise and physical activity decrease the risk of breast cancer by changing the oestrogen, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor. What else people can do to reduce breast cancer risk? Getting proper sleep and rest is necessary for good health. Minimum 8 hours of sleep is essential for both your mind and body to rest, relax and fully recover. A majority of you probably have a mind that whirls with negative thoughts. Your thoughts can eat you alive and you will not enjoy a happy and healthy life. Depression, anxiety and stress make you ill. Detox your mind by cleaning your emotional/mental clutter and stop negative thinking. What is your message for our readers? Lifestyle change is not only important in preventing before it happens but holds equal significance after the diagnosis of breast cancer. Our purpose is to educate women that the role of lifestyle is very important to live a better and healthy life. Think positive about yourself, and adopt preventive measures in your routine life and become a better version of yourself by making better health choices, appreciating our inner beauty and raising your confidence.