It’s officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month! While the health and wellness of our patients and our communities is always at the forefront of our minds, now is a particularly important time to focus on breast health and breast cancer prevention.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and the second most common cause of cancer death in women. Talking about it and being proactive when it comes to prevention can help save lives. So how will you get involved this Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Numerous health professionals, researchers, and experts have tips and advice that can help prevent breast cancer, detect breast cancer early, support those undergoing breast cancer treatment, and continue to stand by and advocate for breast cancer survivors.
Let’s take a look at some of these points and the importance of making each part of a healthy lifestyle. Implementing these in your own life and sharing them with others is an excellent way to get involved.
Breast Cancer Awareness, Prevention, And Support For Survivors
Do your best to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can increase the risk of breast cancer for women following menopause—the age window in which breast cancer diagnosis is the most common.
Eat healthily. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains and avoid sugary drinks, processed foods, refined carbs, and excess fat.
Avoid alcohol. Because alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and a higher chance of disease recurrence, drink it in moderation—just a glass a day—or eliminate it from your diet if possible.
Don’t smoke. For some women, long-term smoking can increase the risk of breast cancer. If you do smoke, seek help to quit. You’re not alone!
Stay active. Increased physical activity, even if you don’t start until later in life, can help reduce overall breast cancer risk. Aim for just 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like a brisk walk, each day.
Consider the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for one year or more can also help protect against breast cancer.
Conduct a self-exam regularly. Perform breast self-examinations regularly and discuss any concerns of suspicious lumps with your doctor. Also, be sure to get regular mammograms.
Keep up with mammogram screenings. While when to get your first mammogram and how often to have them after that will vary depending on each unique woman’s needs, a general rule is to start discussing this with your doctor at age 40. Beginning at age 50, women should have a mammogram every two years. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you.
Breast Cancer Awareness
We invite you to make these healthy habits a part of your routine. Share these tips with the women in your life to help them do the same. Doing so can help lower your risk of developing breast cancer and also improve chances of survival if you are diagnosed.