The growing incidence of breast cancer today, makes it the number one health concern among women. Fortunately, research shows that several measures are likely to prevent or delay the onset of breast cancer in most women. However, one cannot change the genetic makeup of one’s body, so a family tendency of cancer may make it difficult to prevent this disease. Even so, there are a number of risk factors that play an important role in the development cancer in a woman’s breasts. Hence, if a woman takes steps to remove these risk factors from her lifestyle, she can move a few steps away from developing breast cancer in the future. So, what are these preventive measures?
Alcohol increases a woman’s risk of developing cancer of the breast. A limited intake of less than a drink a day is recommended, as alcohol consumption in small amounts is also found to greatly increase the risk of cancer.
To quit smoking is about the best thing a smoker can do for her body, particularly since several scientific studies today suggest that smoking could be linked to an increased risk of cancer especially among premenopausal women.
Obesity also increases breast cancer risk, hence following a low-fat and vegetable and grain rich diet is advisable to help maintain or reduce weight. This cuts down your breast cancer risk in the long run too.
Some studies suggest that women who indulge in aerobic exercises regularly are 50% less likely to develop breast cancer as compared to those who do not exercise.
Breastfeeding provides increased protection against cancer of the breast. Hence, the longer you breastfeed the lower is your risk of developing this disease in the future.
Researchers have found that women on combination hormone therapy for as less as three years or more have an increased risk of the cancer of the breast. Hence, women taking combination hormones for the purpose of contraception or menopausal complaints for longer durations should discuss the need for other options with their doctors.
While none of the preventive measures for cancer are full proof, early detection of the cancerous growths is the best mode of improving the chances of survival and the overall outcome. Here’s how breast cancer can be detected early to prevent spread and complications:
Ideally a woman should check her breasts for lumps and growths once every month, especially 4-5 days after menstruation.
The American Cancer Society advises regular mammograms after 45 years of age as a screening method for breast cancer. Additionally, getting a thorough medical check-up once a year is advisable too.
Dmitry Bronfman, MD, is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in all aspects of contemporary women’s health, preventive medicine, pelvic pain, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and general, adolescent, and menopausal gynecology.
Brooklyn Abortion Clinic