Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women in the United States. Some risk factors may be out of control, such as aging and family history. Nonetheless, to conclude this series we will provide you with some tips to optimize your overall breast health.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Individuals who are overweight, particularly following menopause, face an elevated risk for breast cancer. This heightened risk is associated with the ability of fat tissue to generate estrogen, a hormone that is linked with the development of breast cancer. Moderate lifestyle changes, such as taking daily walks and limiting red meat consumption, can help maintain your weight.
- Limit alcohol intake. The more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of breast cancer. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation which is no more than 1 drink a day for women according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Opt for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding not only provides benefits to the newborn, but also minimizes breast cancer risk. There is a lower prevalence of breast cancer among mothers who breast feed in comparison to mothers who don’t.
- Consider your medications. Some hormonal medications used for menopause management as well as birth control may increase risk of breast cancer. Speak with your provider to discuss any potential side effects when taking these medications.
- Keep screening top of mind. Early detection is key in ensuring a favorable outcome if diagnosed with breast cancer. Once you are 40 years of age, it is essential to speak with your provider regarding mammogram visits and frequency. However, if you are younger than 40, you can administer breast self-examinations to detect any changes in breast anatomy.
The above recommendations are a great starting point to maintain your breast health. To conclude our Pink Ribbon Chronicles, our care team strongly encourages you to make a commitment to stay up-to-date with scheduling your mammograms. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you navigate this process!
- Breast Cancer Statistics | How Common Is Breast Cancer? Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/breast-cancer/about/how-common-is-breast-cancer.html
- CDC. Five Great Benefits of Breastfeeding. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published September 7, 2023. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/breastfeeding-benefits/index.html