31 Oct Steps to Take to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer is a pervasive and potentially life-altering disease that affects millions of women worldwide. While we’ve made great strides in breast cancer awareness, early detection, and treatment are crucial. Taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of breast cancer is a critical aspect of our overall well-being.
In this blog, we’ll explore six of these preventive measures below and provide a list of common breast cancer signs and symptoms to help you better identify when something isn’t right.
By understanding and implementing these preventive measures, you can empower yourself with the knowledge and tools to protect your breast health and live a life that’s both vibrant and cancer-free.
Get Regular Screenings
Mammograms can detect abnormalities before signs and symptoms even appear. The potential results can be scary to some, but catching cancer early offers you the best chances of treatment and recovery.
The American Cancer Society recommends that:
- Women with a high breast cancer risk talk with their doctor about how often screening is needed.
- Women over 40 get regular screenings.
- Women before 45 and 54 get annual screenings.
- Women over 55 receive screenings every two years for as long as they stay healthy.
Know Your History
If you know you have a family history of breast cancer, consider getting tested for abnormalities or inherited changes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Talk to your doctor about testing, and about the best prevention plan for you. He or she can recommend screenings, lifestyle adjustments, and other steps you can take to best decrease your risk of getting breast cancer.
Exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of all cancers. Not only can 30 minutes of movement a day aid in weight loss, it can also strengthen your muscles and heart, which both play key roles in fighting illness. Even a daily walk around the block can increase immunity and help build and maintain healthy fitness habits.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
We’ve all heard it before; obesity and excess weight really do influence a person’s current and future health. Gaining weight as an adult increases your risk of breast cancer and heightens the likelihood of recurrence in those who have already been diagnosed.
Regular exercise and a nutritious diet are the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. You can also talk with your doctor about a weight loss plan and strategy that works best for you.
Very few doctors would argue smoking doesn’t drive up a person’s lifetime risk for cancer. That doesn’t mean quitting is easy though. If you need help, talk to your doctor. You can also read this article for tips on how to quit.
Research consistently shows that consuming alcoholic beverages—beer, wine and liquor—increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. One study found women who had two to three drinks a day were 20 percent likelier to develop breast cancer than those who didn’t drink. If you’re going to drink, do so in moderation. For women that means less than one drink a day and for men less than two.
Staying healthy throughout your life is your best defense against cancer and improves your chances of fighting it if it occurs. Even small choices add up to a big difference in physical health. Remember to talk to your doctor if you think you have an elevated risk of getting breast cancer or want personalized suggestions on how to lead a healthy life. Most importantly, if you’re over 40, have a family history of breast cancer, or are otherwise at high risk, schedule your mammogram today!
Breast Cancer Symptoms can include:
- A new lump that can be felt in the breast tissue.
- Swelling in the breast tissue
- Breast pain
- Nipple pain
- Breast skin dimpling
- Nipples turning inward
- Nipple discharge
- Skin on the breast or nipples that is red, dry or flaking
- Swollen lymph nodes near the collarbone or underarm
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