It’s breast cancer awareness month and this month we’ve been focusing on all things “breasts.” Today, let’s discuss tips to ensure the best breast health. Prevention is always the key to avoiding certain health issues. For women, after heart disease, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death. By knowing the risk factors and understanding what you can do to maintain your breast health, you can fight back against the causes of breast cancer.
Being overweight is a trigger for many diseases, including cancer. Cut down your chances of developing breast cancer by watching your weight. If you are overweight, take steps to bring your weight under control.
Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Eat foods high in antioxidants, consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, and foods with omega 3 acids. Some foods are known to help fight back against the risk of breast cancer.
Foods like tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower lower the risk of cancer as do high fiber foods. Be careful with how much alcohol you consume, because some studies have shown a higher risk in women who drink a lot of alcohol.
If you have diabetes, keep your levels under control and if you smoke, give it up for the sake of keeping your breasts healthy. If you haven’t had children yet, you can cut down your risk of developing breast cancer by breastfeeding your children.
You should also learn your family medical history. Know what your genetic risks are for developing breast cancer and if possible, get tested to see if you have any of the higher risk markers. If you do have a family history, avoid hormone therapy replacement.
A common myth is that breast cancer doesn’t happen to young women. Even in their teen years, women are at risk of developing breast cancer. One of the best ways to have good breast health is to perform monthly breast self-exams or (BSEs).
By performing this regular self-check, you can tell if there have been any changes in the feel of your breasts. After your monthly cycle every month, do a BSE. When you’re familiar with how your breast feels, you’ll be able to tell when something doesn’t feel right or there’s a lump. If at any time, you notice a discharge from the nipple, contact your doctor right away.
Having a mammogram done regularly helps lessen your risk of developing breast cancer. With the technology available today, mammograms are much better than they used to be. The newer machines are digital and use less pressure. Because of this heightened sensitivity in the machines, they can more easily detect suspicious changes in the breast.