The numbers sure are scary.
According to the American Cancer Society, there’s a one in eight chance that a woman in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. But statistics don’t tell the whole story. That’s why Megyn Kelly TODAY consulted with Dr. Kristi Funk, a board-certified breast surgeon who, alongside her husband, Andy Funk, co-founded the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Los Angeles. Funk has treated breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow. And now, she’s written “Breasts: The Owner's Manual."
She stopped by TODAY to help women understand what they can do to significantly reduce their risk of breast cancer. And it’s a good idea to start with the basics, the very foundation of our lives.
"One of the things that's largely neglected, I think, in medical literature," she said, "is [that] there's no emphasis on social support and love and connectedness. But there is data to show that people live happier, healthier and longer when they have love in their lives."
Still, there are active things you can do. They're sensible, and easy.
1. Don’t be complacent because your family history is clear.
Just because your aunt or grandma never got breast cancer doesn’t mean you’re safe. In fact, per Funk, the majority of cases don’t involve women who have a first-degree relative with breast cancer.
2. Eat smart to lower your risk.
Funk recommends a plant-based diet filled with fruits and veggies. Plus, she urges women to eat one tablespoon of ground flaxseed, drink three cups of green tea and consume half a cup of steamed or raw broccoli daily.
3. Keep track of the booze.
Studies have found that alcohol use can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, but some alcohol, like red wine has been known to have beneficial health qualities. For example, red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer of women.
So what's a wine lover to do? According to Funk, the sweet spot when it comes to breast cancer prevention is to consume 4-8 ounces of red wine daily. Only red wine has been shown to actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. But don’t get carried away.
4. Break a sweat.
Funk says women need to get in five hours of walking or 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise a week, in an ideal situation. But even 11 minutes a day of some exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 18 percent.
5. Don’t be afraid of soy.
Funk used to avoid it, but said that new studies show that 1-2 servings of soy a day in the form of tofu or soy milk have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
6. Find inner peace.
Yes, really (and don’t roll your eyes). Funk is a big believer in the power of meditation. And she’s an even bigger believer in the power of love. A support system goes hand in hand with better health.
And Funk also shared her go-to smoothie recipe.