October is breast cancer awareness month, and it is a great time to support breast cancer research, as well as women who are breast cancer survivors. Adult women should have annual women’s wellness check-ups, which include breast exams. These examinations can help to detect any problems early, and to treat them quickly and efficiently for your best chance of recovery. Early detection of breast cancer greatly improves the improves the treatment options, chances for successful treatment and, most importantly, survival.
Here are some tips to consider as you monitor your breast health:
Research shows that lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of breast cancer, even in women at high risk. To lower your risk:
Do not smoke. Smoking causes several diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. Research also has shown that there may be link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. If you are unable to work directly with a registered dietitian, you have some other options. Download apps that can help track and analyze what you eat.
Be physically active. Regular physical activity has proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer as it can help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps prevent breast cancer.
Breast-feed. There is strong scientific evidence that breast-feeding can reduce a woman’s risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancers. The longer you breast-feed, the more you can benefit from the positive
Know Your Family History. It is important to know if anyone if your family has had breast or ovarian cancer, as this may increase your percentage and you may need to start getting screenings earlier than age 40. You can get tested to see if you carry the mutated breast cancer gene BRCA1 or BRCA2 - which increases the likelihood of being diagnosed.
Do not wait for symptoms to appear—get screened. Screening for breast cancer can seem scary, but it’s necessary for early detection. Women ages 25-39 should talk with your doctor and should be screened at least once every three years for risk assessment, risk reduction counselling and a clinical breast exam. At age 40, begin getting screened annually. If you have a personal family history or are at increased risk of breast cancer, all of this could be different for you. Talk to your health care professional about your risk and assess your options together.
Take control of your health and encourage your family to do the same. Wear pink this month and Dean’s Professional Services will donate a dollar to The Rose! Make sure to snap a pic of yourself dressed in pink, post it to Facebook/ Twitter or IG and TAG DPS!
About The Rose
The Rose reduces deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnostics and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay. Visit www.therose.org for more ways to fight breast cancer!