Maintaining Breast Health
Everyday we take preventative measure to protect ourselves. We buckle our seatbelt to prevent injuries in a car accident and floss everyday (mostly) to prevent cavities. While we don’t always have complete control of all the outcomes, we take as many preventative steps as possible to improve the chances of a positive outcome.
So, with that said, think of this list as a friendly reminder (no passive aggressiveness intended) of steps you can take to improve your chances – when it comes to your health and any potential risk of developing breast cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight should be an important priority for everyone, but it’s vital for women at risk for breast cancer or breast cancer survivors. Obesity can increase the risk of developing breast cancer as well as reducing survival rates.
Check out the Susan G. Komen site for some solid resources and tips to maintaining a healthy weight and eating better.
Break a sweat
Staying physically active can have immense benefits for not only your weight and body image, but can also lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Studies show that you should aim for two and a half hours each week — in other words, 30 minute sessions, 4-5 times a week.
While researching for this list we found that almost every reputable resource had a differing opinion concerning alcohol intake. As we’ve talked about in a past article, the research surrounding the correlation between alcohol and developing breast cancer in your lifetime is constantly changing — in fact, the only reliable advice really just falls back on Mom’s old saying, “Everything in moderation, dear.”
Regular breast checkups
It’s recommended to have a clinical breast exam at least once every three years and once you hit forty to have annual mammograms. If you have a family history it’s a good idea to begin screening ten years prior to the family member’s age at diagnosis. That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of your family’s history with the disease. Thirty percent of fully developed breast cancer cases have a first-degree relative with breast cancer.
So, you shouldn’t smoke – but you know that
While the correlation to breast cancer vague – the link to lung cancer and heart disease is crystal clear. If you don’t smoke, for the love of God, don’t start — and if you do, well, while quitting can be incredibly difficult but fear not, help is available. Asking your doctor for some help is a great place to start. Here’s a few tips from WebMD in the meantime.
With a little help from your friends
Worried about your risk factors or need motivation to stick to your workout schedule? I supportive group of friends or family can prove to be vital when it comes to staying on a running schedule or diet. The Susan G. Komen website also has quite a few resources to help women during varying times of a breast cancer diagnosis.