Breast Cancer Prevention: What You Can Do

You play an important part in breast cancer prevention.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer, and that 1 in 36 will die from the disease. What can you do? Keeping in mind that prevention is some of the best medicine, here are a few key steps you can take:

Get screened for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society advises women begin doing breast self-exams in their 20s, and have both a clinical breast exam and a mammogram annually starting at age 40. They advise women at high risk for developing breast cancer to also have an annual MRI.

Watch your weight. Extra pounds, especially around your midsection, increase your risk for developing breast cancer.

Exercise. A good goal is to strive to participate in moderate intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week,

Limit alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than one serving daily. Note that the Centers for Disease Control defines one serving as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.

Choose to breastfeed. Studies indicate that breastfeeding for at least several months can cut your risk of developing breast cancer.

Consider hormone therapy carefully. Research has shown that combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of getting breast cancer.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns. When breast cancer is detected early, the prognosis is typically better. Discuss any possible signs or symptoms promptly.

To learn more about breast cancer or to schedule a breast cancer screening, contact The Breast Center at The Medical Center of Plano at (972) 519-1359. If you are due to have an annual mammogram, The Medical Center of Plano offers women the Mammopad during mammograms, for a softer, warmer examination experience. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-665-TMCP.

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