Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: Kendall County Resources

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

Looking for a place to go in Kendall County?

  • Rush-Copley Hospital in Aurora offers a weight training class for women. Abbey Norus, certified personal trainer, will answer common questions about female weight training and teach some tips and techniques. For more information, click here.
  • For those interested in pursuing a fitness club experience, the Rush-Copley Healthplex offers the latest fitness options along with tennis, aquatics and more.

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 loss programs.

  • Fox Valley Care Clinic offers lifestyle advice and nutritional counseling. The clinic is located at 2733 Route 34, Oswego. Call 630-551-0000 for more information.
  • Rush-Copley offers a variety of online wellness tools and calculators that can provide you with information that can help you stay well.
  • An overeaters anonymous group meets from 7 to 8 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at Wheatland Salem Church, 1217 Wolfs Crossing Road, Oswego. Call 630.904.1035, Ext. 134 for more information.

Looking for a registered dietitian to help you on your journey?

The registered dietitians at Rush-Copley have years of educational training and clinical experience, and offer personalized consultations for any kind of nutritional need. To arrange for a consultation, call 630-978-4851.


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