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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: Mercer Island Resources

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

Mercer Island has an array of gyms, martial arts and fitness groups that can help you stay active. Here's just a few from our directory:

  • Northwest Paddle Surfers 5700 92nd Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 206-659-1787
  • Cascade Kendo Kai 8236 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040 425-643-0714
  • Club Emerald 3028 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040
  • Jazzercise 8236 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040
  • Mercer Island Pilates 3003 80th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040
  • Mary Wayte Swimming Pool 8815 SE 40th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040

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 through Weight Watchers - Mercer Island, the Mercer Island Senior Health Center and Mercer Island Nutrition or registered dieticians like High Performance Nutrition (206-232-9138) at 7683 SE 27th Street.

Rita Moore October 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I want to recommend Fitness Together. I joined over a year ago because a medical problem had left my leg very weak. I did not participate in their weight loss part of their program. I have regained my strength and more. In addition I have managed to loose over 50 pounds. My work outs were very well structured to succeed and get stronger over time.

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