You probably hear the term “breast cancer” every day, whether it is on TV, the radio or in your doctor’s office. But many of us don’t know everything we should about it. Like the fact that 1 in 8 women are affected by it. Or that consuming alcohol can increase your risk for developing it. Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, take this time to familiarize yourself with some of the basics—it could save your life!
Add It Up
According to BreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Look around you, and add up the numbers. Someone in the same room as you will likely be affected by breast cancer. That’s more reason to take it upon yourself to do what you can to decrease your risk.
You’re In Control
While scientists have not figured out a means to prevent breast cancer entirely, they have found that there are certain factors which you can control, that may increase your risk for developing breast cancer. Control these factors and you can reduce your risk:
Weight, diet and exercise—Being overweight or obese may increase your risk for the disease. Control your diet and what you eat to maintain a healthy weight. Including daily exercise in your routine can also help you manage your weight.
Watch What You Drink—According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day may increase your risk for breast cancer. Some doctors even recommend limiting yourself to one per day.
Breast Feeding—You can go ahead and add prevention to the list of breast feeding benefits. Researchers have found a connection between breast feeding and breast cancer risk. The longer you breast feed, the longer the protective effect.
Prevention Is Key!
Detecting breast cancer early can save your life. Every woman should have an early detection plan. Starting at age 20, women should begin performing breast self-exams. At age 40 and older, women should begin getting mammograms every one to two years. Women age 50 and older should get one every year.
Controlling your risk factors for breast cancer and being proactive about screenings and early detection can help save your life. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for breast cancer and how you can protect yourself. For more information on breast cancer prevention and treatment, visit the Breast Center at the Medical Center of Plano online or give us a call at 972-519-1380.