6 Steps for Breast Cancer Prevention
Other than choosing a comfortable bra with ample support, you probably don’t regularly think about how you can protect your breasts. Women’s Care Florida wants you to know that we have several steps you can take to help lower your odds of developing breast cancer. For women who live in the United States, breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, aside from lung cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. However, you can treat it better when you find it early on. Don’t let breast cancer affect your health and livelihood. Here are six breast cancer prevention tips that can help you lower your odds for developing breast cancer:
1. Reduce alcohol intake
Yes, alcohol and breast cancer are correlated. High alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. You may want to limit yourself to one drink per day. For the most effective breast cancer prevention, consider not drinking at all. Also, try swapping out high-calorie beverages for one glass of red wine. Some studies have found correlations between red wine and positive health benefits for your heart. However, note that evidence is limited. Consult a healthcare provider for their recommendations to find out how much you should or shouldn’t drink based on your health history.
2. Be more active
Hitting the gym isn’t just a good way to slim down. Research indicates exercise and breast cancer are negatively correlated. Plus, exercise reduces your risk for breast cancer (and other diseases) by helping you maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation and regulate estrogen and other hormones. Try to do things you genuinely love and enjoy like bike riding or kayaking. Doing so can help you stick to a regular exercise routine long-term. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes per day, five days per week for the best results.
3. Review your family history
Women with a family history of breast cancer are often at higher risk for developing the disease. Ask all the women you’re related to if they experienced problems with breast cancer. Then, inform your gynecologist immediately if breast cancer takes part in your family tree. This step can help you identify an increased risk for breast cancer as early as possible.
4. Get more sleep
Making sleep a priority in your life is easier said than done. However, ensuring adequate sleep may help with breast cancer prevention. New research shows that women with chronically inadequate sleep or frequently interrupted sleep can cause a disruption in the circadian rhythm and possibly elevate the risk of developing breast cancer. Your body repairs itself while it sleeps, and generates hormones and new, healthy cells that can help reduce your risk for illness and disease in general. Aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to improve your overall health and lower the risk for breast cancer.
5. Perform breast self-exams
Your gynecologist will perform a breast examination at your annual appointment, but don’t wait around for your doctor to inform you of lumps and other symptoms. Check your breasts for lumps and irregularities at least once per month, and inform your gynecologist immediately if you notice any changes in the way your breasts look or feel.
6. Visit your gynecologist every year or more as needed
Although this isn’t the only preventative measure you can take, scheduling an annual checkup with your gynecologist is highly important. In fact, the primary prevention of breast cancer involves getting yearly screenings. Meet with them around the same time every year, and don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you notice a change in your breasts or female health. Your doctor can perform a breast exam and recommend a mammogram screening to look for signs of breast cancer.
Adopting these healthy habits and keeping in touch with your gynecologist can make a big difference in your breast health, as well as your overall health. To learn more about mammograms or other forms of preventative care, make an appointment with Women’s Care Florida today.