A diagnosis of breast cancer can be daunting. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 264,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer yearly.
The good news, though, is there are things you can do right now to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
What Exactly is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer happens when abnormal cells in the breast go haywire and multiply, forming a tumour that may spread.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Breast Cancer
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women who are obese or overweight may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Choose Real Foods: A diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is vital to maintaining good health and may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Get Physical: Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends 150 minutes of physical activity weekly. But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend crazy hours in the gym. Breaking up your workouts into small chunks of time throughout the week can make getting activity easier.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: No one says you can’t enjoy that glass of wine; however, try consuming alcohol in moderation.
- Avoid Smoking
- Know Your Family History: If you have a family member who has had breast cancer, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.
How is Breast Cancer Detected?
- Mammograms: A mammogram is a special x-ray that examines your breast tissues for abnormalities. Mammograms remain the best way to detect breast cancer early. You can still get your breast checked if you have implants. Just be sure to let your x-ray technician know.
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A breast MRI is a fancy machine that takes detailed pictures of your breasts. A Breast MRI is typically used along with mammograms for women with a higher risk for breast cancer.
- Get Familiar with Your Breasts: Look at your breasts often! If you feel any lumps or notice any changes in your breasts, schedule an appointment to see your doctor immediately.
Prevention and early detection are essential in preventing breast cancer. Small changes like eating healthy, staying fit, and getting regular check-ups are the key to achieving optimal breast health.