One in eight women who read this post will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. A scary statistic, we know. That said, the rates of women dying from this kind of cancer are on the decline. Why? More women than ever before are educated about breast cancer risks and prevention. We would like you to be one of those women. Here are some important facts about breast cancer that you should know. And once you are done reading these facts, we’d appreciate it if you shared them with the women in your life, too.
Know the Risks
Some women are at a greater risk than others for breast cancer. You can lower a number of these risks just by making changes to your daily lifestyle. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors:
- You are overweight or obese and over the age of 40.
- You drink more than one alcoholic drink a day.
- You are a smoker.
- You use hormone replacement therapy.
- You have a family history of breast cancer.
- You are older than 55.
- You have dense breast tissue.
- You have had menstrual periods for an extended period of time (starting younger than 12 or experiencing menopause after 55).
While some of these risk factors are beyond your control, many are not. Here are some ways you can practice breast cancer prevention or potentially save your life with early detection.
- Maintain a normal weight.
- Exercise regularly or stay physically active. Even going for a brisk walk 1–2 times a week will decrease your risk of breast cancer.
- Quit smoking and limit your alcoholic consumption.
- Avoid hormone replacement therapy. Exposure to these hormones will increase your risk while only postponing menopausal symptoms.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet consisting of lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
- Consider breast-feeding your child for as long as a year.
- Share your entire family history of breast cancer with your physician. She may discuss the possibility of genetic testing with you, also.
- Schedule annual breast exams.
- Perform self-exams monthly so that you are familiar with your breast tissue and can detect a change quickly.
- Schedule a mammogram every 1–2 years if you are over the age of 40.
Do you have any questions about early detection or breast cancer prevention? Would you like to schedule an annual exam or mammogram? Please contact us at (817) 255 -1000 or visit us online for a physician referral.