This month is breast cancer awareness month, and as 90% of our patients are women, we would like to share these important facts on how to prevent breast cancer.
Every woman has about a 1/8 chance of having invasive beast cancer at some time in her life. In 2013 alone, over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were reported. Every woman should be consciously making steps to help prevent breast cancer and improve chances of surviving this epidemic. Here’s a few proper ways to keep yourself in check.
Give Yourself a Breast Self Exam
Also known as a BSE, this is a good way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. Once a month, give yourself a BSE to detect any lumps or abnormalities. This video can help you learn the correct ways to give yourself a BSE.
Get an Annual Screening
After the age of 40, women are recommended to annually get examined for breast cancer. This includes a mammogram and a consultation with a doctor. This is one of the best ways to detect breast cancer very early. It is never too early to begin this exam.
Know Your Family History
Be aware of your family’s history of breast cancer. If any person directly related to you has had breast cancer, it’s recommended to consult a doctor about how you can lower your risk.
While diet only plays a small role in breast cancer prevention, it is extremely important. It is advised to avoid dietary fats and instead opt for eating highly nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. The antioxidants found in such foods are very helpful in ridding the body of free radicals and other cancerous matter.
Physical activity and exercise can help reduce your risk of breast cancer by keeping your weight balanced. Being overweight greatly increases the risk of breast cancer. Proper exercise can help keep your BMI at its desired number.
Limit Alcohol and Smoking
With both alcohol and cigarettes, the more you abuse the substance, the higher risk of breast cancer. Try to limit your drinking to 1 to 3 drinks every other day. For smoking, it’s best to completely avoid it.
Be Weary of Hormone Therapy
Many women use a combination of hormones to help manage menopausal symptoms which can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. The longer a woman is on hormone therapy, the greater increase of risk. It is recommended to consult your doctor about non-hormonal therapy which can includes physical activity.
Avoid Long Exposure to Radiation and Pollution
Extended radiation from medical-imaging devices can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Only allow medical-imaging tests that will expose you to radiation to be performed when absolutely necessary. Be aware of harmful chemicals during daily life as well. Harmful cleaning solutions, gas fumes, workplace chemicals, and vehicle exhaust can be harmful to the body and increase the risk of cancer.
While all of these steps can help keep your chances of breast cancer low, there are always possibilities of developing the condition. Always stay aware of the risks, talk to your doctor, and help support the breast cancer community.