India is witnessing a spurt in the number of young patients being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to recent studies by the Breast Cancer India. Between 2012-14, 16% of total breast cancer patients belonged to the age group 30 to 40 years. The statistics point to a grim future if preventive measures are not taken.

Self-awareness is the first, vital step towards prevention of cancer. Nobody can take care of you better than your self. That includes knowing what is going on inside your body.

Besides genes, there are several other factors in our everyday lives that increase breast cancer risks. These include smoking, imprudent alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, stress, chemical-laden foods and skin, hair and body products, pollution, late pregnancies, and excess weight.  Studies have shown that lifestyle changes help decrease the possibility of contracting the disease even in high-risk women. So, incorporate these five simple changes in your daily routine and embrace a healthy, disease-free life:

Early detection can save your life: Introduce some healthy habits in your routine. On your doctor’s advice, go for screening regularly. Mammogram, ultrasound and breast MRI are vital tests. Besides, regular self- examination is extremely important too. I took my first mammogram test at 23 and since then, I make sure I go for one regularly.

Always read the labels before purchasing skincare products: Start with your bathroom. These contain the maximum amount of harmful chemicals. Remember that your skin absorbs everything, so cut down on chemicals wherever you can. I always go for organic shower gels, body lotions and body oils.


Avoid the junk, opt for wholesome foods: Buy unprocessed foods as much as possible and go organic or chemical-free. Make sure you pick your fruit and vegetables from a reliable vendor. Also, always read the labels before buying food products to ensure that they have no harmful preservatives.

Do everything it takes to relax: Excessive stress does no good. Meditation and taking time off work will help.

Start working towards quitting smoking and consume alcohol in moderation. Equally important is to have a regular exercise regimen.

While you try these tips, do share them with your friends and relatives. Women, go all out and spread the word!