The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Exercise, nutrition reduce cancer risks

By Zaman Febela/reporter

Out of all women, one in eight will get breast cancer, a Fort Worth oncologist told a group of students and faculty Oct. 7 on South Campus.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer,” said Dr. Robyn Young during Breast Cancer Protection. “The general public needs to know about it.”

One way to reduce the chance of getting breast cancer is by exercising, Young said.

“If you have an understanding of your BMI [body mass index], get 30 to 45 minutes a day from three to six days a week,” she said.

The physical activity has to be brisk exercise, Young said. Rapid walking, swimming and fast dancing can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 35 percent. It also improves the immune and circulation system, she said.

Two-thirds of Americans are obese, Young said. That’s the level where breast cancer and heart issues are elevated, she said.

Young showed a salad plate’s size compared to a typical dinner plate, saying the distinction is that the typical dinner plate indicates the super-sized portions of food people eat. Using salad plates would be better, she said.

To illustrate what people should eat, Young showed a figure of The New American Plate, akin to the older food pyramid. Rather than showing sugar and sweets on the top of the pyramid, the new plate cuts that off.

The plate consists two-thirds of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans while the other one-third consists of animal protein. Eating is essential to health and any cancer reduction, Young said.

The same can be said about sleeping, she said. Less than 8 hours of sleep may increase one’s risk of getting breast cancer and other cancers, she said.

“A lot of our repairs come when we are asleep,” she said. “Getting eight hours of sleep will get you refreshed knowing what you need to do.”

Although self-testing is important, women need to visit the doctor to make sure they are OK.

“The best way to detect breast cancer is by doing a mammogram test,” she said. “A mammogram is going to find more breast cancer than anything.”

Audience member Mineen Fallavollita said going to the doctor is important.

“Just like going to a dentist, you want to get checked,” she said. “It’s all preventive.”

Young said it is important to get a mammogram test annually, but at the appropriate age. If breast cancer is not common in the family, the appropriate age would be at 40. Otherwise, 10 years less than the youngest one in the family who has breast cancer is appropriate.

Kathy Andrews, who comes from a family with a history of breast cancer, had her daughter doing mammogram testing at 18.

“Two of my cousins died of it,” she said. “The youngest one of my cousins died in her 20s. No matter how young you are, it doesn’t discriminate.”

More information about breast cancer awareness and free mammogram tests is available at, and

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