Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. According to a report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer late last year, it has overtaken lung cancer in its prevalence, with three out of 100 Filipinas developing the diseases before age 75.

Despite the numbers, scientists are consistently finding new ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Medical News Today reports one more to the list. According to research, consuming omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to breast cancer protection.

Researchers from Zhejiang University in China assessed 26 previously published works and 21 independent cohort studies, which included 883,585 participants and 20,905 breast cancer patients. They found that high intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3-PUFAs) may lower the risk of breast cancer by 14 percent.

These n3-PUFAs are omega-3 fatty acids which must be consumed through diet or supplements, as the body does not produce them. They include α-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). N3-PUFAs can be found in nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fatty fish. This means that one to two portions of fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, and tuna should be consumed in a week.

Other ways of lowering breast cancer risk include being physically active, and eating a balanced diet. For mothers, breast-feeding is also a good way to get protected. Most of all, doing breast cancer self-exams can help with identifying symptoms early.

(Photo by Barron Fujimoto via Flickr Creative Commons)

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