After everything that we’ve learnt about breast cancer in the last few articles; we think it’s time to come down to the preventive measures. Are there any preventive measures? Is there a huge shift in lifestyle goals? Does one have to go through medical procedures to take preventive steps? Most importantly is there a way to reduce your risk?
We’ll cover it all right here, so read on and learn what preventive measures you can take when it comes to safeguarding yourself from breast cancer as much as humanly possible.
While breast awareness can’t prevent breast cancer, but it can help you to better understand the normal changes that your breasts undergo and identify any unusual signs and symptoms. If there is a new change, lumps or other unusual signs in your breasts, talk to your doctor promptly.
The first thing to do is to ask your doctor about breast cancer screening. Discuss with your doctor when to begin breast cancer screening exams and tests, like clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Things That You Can Do Yourself
Limit Alcohol Intake:
If you drink alcohol, then make sure that you do so in moderation. Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. It can also increase breast cancer risk by damaging the DNA of one’s cells. If you drink alcohol then limit the amount to no more than one drink a day.
Exercise Most Days Of The Week:
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven’t been active lately, ask your doctor whether it’s OK and start slowly. Constant activity and exercise helps your body in more ways than one, aside from boosting your metabolism, it also helps strengthen your heart and improves your circulation along with managing sugar and insulin levels. Exercising also helps generate endorphins, which boost your mood considerably. Women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Smokers and non-smokers alike know how unhealthy smoking is. Smoking is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. In fact, according to recent researches there is a possibility of a link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
Maintain A Healthy Weight:
If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, it can also lower the risk of many different cancers, including breast cancer.
Choose A Healthy Diet:
A Mediterranean diet helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, since it mostly focuses on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. The diet swaps healthy fats such as olive oil for butter and fish for red meat more omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. Consuming fish such as salmon, plus nuts and healthy oils, lowers your risk of cancer.
Breast Cancer Risk Reduction For Women With A High Risk
If your doctor has assessed your family history and determined that you have other risk factors, such as a precancerous breast condition, which can increase your risk of breast cancer, you can discuss clinical options to reduce your risk like preventive medications and preventive surgery.
Preventive medications or chemoprevention is when you’re given estrogen-blocking medications. These can help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease.
Some women who have a high risk factor may decide to go forward and have have their healthy breast surgically removed. This procedure is called prophylactic mastectomy. In some cases, women also choose to have healthy ovaries and breasts both removed to safeguard themselves from the risk of both ovarian and breast cancer, this procedure is known as prophylactic oophorectomy.
What one needs to keep in mind that clinical measures have certain risks and side effects, whether it is medication or surgery. One must always discuss the benefits and risks with their doctor and get all the information possible before taking any measures.