5 Steps To Better Breast Health
Whether you are in your 20s or have already gone through menopause, you can make changes to your daily routine that help protect your breast health throughout your lifetime. Here are 5 things you can do to boost breast health and decrease your risk of developing breast cancer and other serious conditions.
1 – Maintain a Healthy Weight and Exercise Regularly. A healthy diet and exercise routine are not only essential to your overall health, but they are also a powerful one-two punch to decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. Women who are overweight or obese after menopause have a 30% to 60% higher breast cancer risk than those who are lean. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 2 ½ to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. Even making small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a daily walk can make a difference. Check out these informative diet and activity guidelines from the American Cancer Society.
2 – Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink adult beverages, try to limit yourself to one drink per day. Researchers have found women who had 2-3 drinks per day had a 20% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who didn’t drink alcohol. Each alcoholic drink per day increases your risk of breast cancer by about 7%.
3 – Avoid Smoking. Smoking is a primary cause of many serious illnesses, including breast cancer. The more you smoke, and the longer you have smoked, the higher the risk. Quitting now can help cut your risk of developing many serious health conditions later in life.
4 – Know Your Breasts and Examine Them Monthly. By checking your breasts regularly once a month, you can help detect early signs of cancer. Put a reminder on your smartphone so you don’t forget. Set it for 7-10 days after your period.
Not sure how to perform a self-exam? We have you covered! Check out this helpful guide from BreastCancer.org.
What to Look For. When you are familiar with your breast shape, size and texture, you will more readily notice if something changes. If you see a nipple discharge, or a nipple that is newly inverted, it may be cause for concern. If you notice a hard lump, or breast swelling, dimpling, or a change to the skin – if there is a rash, or the skin appears thickened, pitted, red, bumpy, or itchy – contact A Woman’s View for an appointment: https://www.awomansview.com/request-an-appointment/ Remember, there’s no reason to panic. There are non-cancerous reasons for changes to breasts that can be treated easily, but a health visit is the best way to find out. Do not wait.
5 – Schedule Regular Breast Health Screenings
Talk with your health care provider at A Woman’s View to see what screening tests are right for you. Typically, a clinical breast exam is recommended every three years starting at the age of 20, and every year beginning at the age of 40. Annual screening mammograms are recommended every year beginning at the age of 40.
Have questions? At A Woman’s View, we are always here to help.