However, there is a lot of good news about breast cancer. Treatments are improving, and we now know more than ever about how to prevent the disease.
If you’re worried about getting breast cancer, you might wonder if there are any steps you can take to help prevent it. Some risk factors, such as family history, are unavoidable, and there are, however, lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk. These are the most important pointers to consider for breast cancer awareness.
1.Maintain a Healthy Weight
Overweight patients are more likely to develop breast cancer, especially after menopause. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that fat tissue can produce estrogen (and estrogen exposure is linked to breast cancer).
2. Eliminate Alcohol
Any amount of alcohol raises your risk of developing breast cancer. According to research, higher alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Avoiding alcohol is preferable, but limit yourself to three to five servings per week if you must consume it.
3. Eat Healthily
A plant-based diet high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans is recommended. Include colourful or strongly flavoured vegetables and fruits in your diet. Red and processed meats, sugary drinks and sodas, and processed foods high in fat and starch should all be avoided.
4. Breastfeeding for New Mothers
Breastfeeding for at least one year has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, according to research. However, the decision to breastfeed your child is personal, and the fact that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer is just one of many factors to consider.
5. Manage Stress Levels
Although there is no proven link between stress and an increased risk of breast cancer, reducing stress levels is likely to benefit overall health. Among the beneficial practices are:
- Meditation and deep breathing
- Stretching exercises should be done on a regular basis.
- Taking a break from the news and social media
- Seeking help from a psychologist, social worker, or professional counsellor if you are experiencing chronic stress.
6. Limit Postmenupausal Hormone Therapy (PHT)
Combination hormone therapy may raise the risk of developing breast cancer. Discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with your doctor. Nonhormonal therapies and medications may be able to help you manage your symptoms. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the duration of your hormone therapy.
7. Consider Mammograms
Mammogram screening for breast cancer saves lives. It does not prevent cancer, but it can help detect it early when it is more treatable.
Beginning at the age of 40, most women should have yearly mammograms. Women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer may need to begin screening earlier. It’s best to consult a doctor about your risk and whether you’d benefit from earlier screening by the age of 30.
8. Find Out More about Family Details
Women with a strong family history of cancer should take extra precautions. That is why it is critical for women to understand their family history. If you have a mother or sister who has had breast or ovarian cancer, you are at a higher risk. This risk is increased if your relative was diagnosed at a young age. Having multiple family members with breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer increases your risk. A doctor or genetic counsellor can help you understand your disease’s family history.
9. Stop Taking Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills have both advantages and disadvantages. The younger the woman, the lower the risks. Women who use birth control pills have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. However, once the pill is stopped, this risk disappears quickly. While on the pill, a woman’s risk of stroke and heart attack increases, especially if she smokes. Long-term use, on the other hand, can have significant benefits, such as lowering the risk of ovarian, colon, and uterine cancers. Birth control pills also prevent unwanted pregnancy, so they have a lot going for them. If you’re concerned about breast cancer, one way to reduce your risk is to avoid using birth control pills.
10. Avoid Raloxifene and Tamoxifen
Although it is not commonly regarded as a “healthy behaviour,” taking the drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are at high risk of the disease.
These powerful drugs, which have been approved by the FDA for breast cancer prevention, can have side effects and are not suitable for everyone. If you believe you are at high risk, consult your doctor to see if these drugs are appropriate for you.
The Final Words
Maintain vigilance in the detection of breast cancer. Consult your doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes. In addition, based on your personal history, consult your doctor about when to begin mammograms and other screenings.