3 Amazing Athletes Who Survived Breast Cancer

Jen Hanks

Jen Hanks is a professional mountain bike racer and has been racing in the sport since 2006. At the age of 35, she felt a small lump during a self-exam and was diagnosed shortly thereafter. She had four surgeries and chemotherapy before being declared cancer free.

Jen shares her personal journey on her blog, Athlete Fights Cancer, where she also provides the training schedule she kept up while undergoing chemotherapy. Since completing treatment, she has competed in more than 25 mountain bike races and continues to race professionally.

Using Diet and Exercise to Reduce Risk

The National Breast Cancer Foundation stresses that an active, healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Because exercise boosts your immune system, the foundation says even "as little as three hours of exercise per week, or about 30 minutes a day" of physical activity can reduce your risk—and this includes going for a power walk.

They also recommend maintaining a low-fat diet full of fruits and vegetables (green and orange, specifically) to reduce risk. "A high-fat diet increases the risk because fat triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumor growth," the foundation says.

More: 5 Nutritional Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer

The National Health Information Center also suggests:

If you're a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start—and how often—getting mammograms.

If you're a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to have a mammogram every two years. (You may choose to get them more often).

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member has had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

For more information on breast cancer and to help spread awareness, you can visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation online at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

More: Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

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