Despite advanced screenings and treatments, breast cancer remains a threat to women’s health. It is the second most common cancer in women — but it is also very treatable if found early enough.
You don’t have to sit back and wait to see if breast cancer strikes you — take up a few healthy habits to decrease your odds of getting it, and increase your chances of finding it early.
- Find an activity you love. Research continues to show that regular activity and a healthy weight can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Excess estrogen is stored in fat cells — so having higher body fat can add up to a higher risk of breast cancer. But you won’t exercise for long if you hate it — so choose an activity that’s fun for you. Whether it’s walking with a friend, swimming, biking, or dancing, get that heart rate up and reap the benefits. You need about 150 minutes each week, or about 30 minutes, five days a week.
- Skip the all-nighters. Make sleep a priority, because it promotes good health in general. Getting sufficient sleep (seven to eight hours a night) is associated with a lower risk of some diseases and can even help you achieve a healthy weight.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum. Experts recommend no more than one drink per day for women. Higher alcohol consumption has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.
- Find out about your family history. Breast cancer can — and does — run in families, so get all the information you can about your mother, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. If a history of breast cancer is found, tell your doctor.
- See your gynecologist at least yearly — or anytime you notice a change. He or she will not only perform a clinical breast exam to look for lumps, but will talk to you about when you should get your mammogram — the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages.
- Examine your breasts for any changes. Experts say you shouldn’t rely upon a self-exam alone to find breast cancer, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Any change in how the breast feels or looks should be reported to your doctor ASAP.
Take charge of your health by adopting healthy habits and keeping in good contact with your physicians. Regular screenings and preventive measures could make a big difference in your health — today and in the future.
CarePoint Health Gynecology
With the help of a skilled gynecologist at CarePoint Health, you can make educated decisions about your health to be at your best at any stage of life. For more information about the comprehensive women’s services we provide, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.