Learn About Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in women. Studies also show that it is not caused by a solitary factor. We all are at risk of developing breast cancer, but there are ways we can reduce that risk through breast cancer awareness, education and lifestyle changes.
Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Here are some simple things that every woman can do to enhance her lifestyle and decrease the risk of breast cancer:
- Exercise more often. The risk of breast cancer is reduced by 40% among women who exercise three to four hours per week at moderate to vigorous levels.
- Have regular breast examinations. See your primary care health professional for a yearly physical checkup.
- Perform monthly breast self-examinations. Doing a monthly breast self-examination helps you become familiar with your own breast tissue so you can detect a change if it should occur and report it to your doctor. Monthly self-breast examinations are simple to perform and can save lives.
- Follow a healthy diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables. There are antioxidants in all fruits and vegetables that help prevent cancer. Among the best are onions, garlic, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, papaya, pineapple and blueberries.
- Get a mammogram. Mammography plays an important role in early detection of breast cancer. The earlier you can recognize breast cancer, the better your chances of successful recovery. Check out Susquehanna Health's mammography services to schedule a mammogram today.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight have more fatty tissue. In fatty tissue, more hormone precursors are converted to estrogen. This increased estrogen level increases the risk of breast cancer. Adult weight gain increases risk for breast cancer in women over the age of 50. Women who gain more than 40 lbs from age 18 to age 50 experience nearly a 30 percent increased risk in breast cancer.
- Don't smoke. Carcinogens found in tobacco products may increase the risk of many cancers, including cancer of the breast.
- Limit your use of alcohol. Alcohol increases production of estrogen and this can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Ask about prescription medicines. Doctors at the Breast Health Center can now accurately assess your personal risks for developing breast cancer. If your risks are excessively high, we may recommend prescription medicinal therapy that will cut your cancer risks by 70%.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Just knowing you are at risk is half the battle. Learn about the risks of breast cancer, perform self-exams and visit your physician yearly for an appropriate evaluation.
Health care providers at UPMC offer education and counseling on breast cancer prevention in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.