5 Ways to Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Breast cancer may be the most common cancer among women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to help prevent it.
We can’t control all risk factors, like age or race, but we can try to control others, like weight gain and alcohol use.
- Maintain your ideal weight. Women who gain a lot of weight after age 21 have higher breast cancer risks than women who maintain a health weight throughout life. To keep your cancer risk low, avoid weight gain by eating a healthy diet and staying active.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Having a glass of wine now and again is not bad for your health. But drinking several glasses a day can up your breast cancer risks. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
- Talk to your doctor about hormone therapy. Some women receive hormone therapy to cope with menopause symptoms. Recent results from the Women’s Health Initiative showed that women who took combined hormone therapy (estrogen and progestin) had a bigger risk of breast cancer. Speak to you Dr. before using hormone therapy.
- Follow recommended screening guidelines. Cancer screening exams, such as the mammogram, are medical tests done when you’re healthy and you don’t have any signs of illness. They help find cancer at it’s earliest stage when chances of successfully treating the disease are greatest. Women should get clinical breast exam every 1-3 years beginning at age 20. Beginning age 40 – yearly exam with mammogram. In between exams, practice self-breast exam.
- Get your breast cancer risk assessed. Every woman has a unique set of breast cancer risks. Depending on your lifestyle, personal and family health history, you may be more likely or less likely to develop the disease.
If you need further information about self-breast exam, ask me for it. I have help for you.
Paula Mann RN
Advocates On Call