6 Ways You Can Prevent Breast Cancer
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Hanes is teaming up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to help generate create breast cancer awareness. The brand will also be donating $50,000 to the NBCF. I’m so happy I have the opportunity to share ways to prevent this horrible disease! I’ve seen family and friends suffer from it and know how horrible it is. The good news is that it is preventable! That’s right ladies, we can prevent it! Here are 6 ways you can prevent breast cancer.
1 – Know the Symptoms and Signs of Breast Cancer. One of the easiest ways to prevent breast cancer is to know what the signs and symptoms are. It may be the discovery of a new lump or a change in the breast tissue or skin. If you discover any type of abnormality, be sure to visit your healthcare professional right away. These signs or symptoms do not necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but be sure to have it checked out so you know for sure. Symptoms can include (1) a change in how the breast or nipple feels; (2) a change in the breast or nipple appearance; or (3) any nipple discharge (particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge).
2 – Perform a Breast Self-Exam at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical Center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” While mammograms help detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams are important because they help you get familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. A Breast Self-Exam can be done in the shower, in front of a mirror or lying down.
3 – Visit your doctor for a Clinic Breast Exam. A clinical breast exam will be performed by a qualified nurse or doctor and will most likely be done during your annual exam. He or she will check for lumps or other physical changes in the breast that my need to be investigated. Your healthcare provider will check your breasts’ appearance and you may be asked to raise your arms over your head, let them hang by your sides, or press your hands against your hips. These different postures will allow your healthcare provider to look for differences in size or shape between your breasts. The skin covering your breasts will be checked for any rash, dimpling, or other abnormal signs and the nipples may be checked to see if fluid is expressed when lightly squeezed.
4 – Get a mammogram every 1 or 2 years starting around age 40. A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. The breast is exposed to a small dose of iodizing radiation that produces an image of the breast tissue. Mammograms are done because they can show a breast lump before it can be felt. They can also show tiny clusters of calcium called microcalcifications. These lumps or specks can be caused by cancer, fatty cells, or other conditions like cysts. If any abnormalities are found, further tests will be conducted, such as an ultrasound or MRI. If further tests show the mass to be solid, your radiologist may recommend a biopsy, which is a procedure in which cells are removed from a suspicious area to check for the presence of cancer.
5 – Have an Early Detection Plan. An Early Detection Plan enables you to be proactive about your health by reminding you to do monthly breast self-exams and schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms. The earlier abnormalities are found, the greater possibility there is for successful treatment. When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%! An Early Detection Plan includes performing monthly breast self-exams, visiting your doctor for scheduled clinical breast exams and following your healthcare provider’s recommendations for mammograms.
6 – Establish Healthy Habits. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce your risk factors for breast cancer. Healthy habits include (1) maintaining a healthy weight; (2) staying physically active; (3) eating fruits and vegetables; (4) not smoking; and (5) limiting alcohol consumption.
How do you prevent breast cancer in your life?
Do you have a personal story of someone who was affected by breast cancer?
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.