Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers amongst women in the United States. Finding breast cancer early and recieving treatment is important to preventing death from breast cancer. As apart of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here is some information and tips on how to reduce your breast cancer risk:
Risk Factors You Can Control:
- Weight -- being overweight increasing your risk of breast cancer, especially for women after menopause
- Diet - A study by the Women's Health Initiative suggests that diets very low in fat may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Level of Activity - Increased level of activity or exercise can reduce breast cancer risk. The American Cancer society recommends in 45-60 minutes of physical exercise at least 5 days per week.
- Alcohol Consumpton - Alcohol consumption have been shown to increase breast cancer risk because it limits the liver's ability to control blood levels of estrogen.
Mammograms are the most effective screening tool to detect breast cancer early on.
A mammogram takes an x-ray of the breast and can detect breast cancer up to two years before an actual tumor can be felt by you or your doctor. Regular screening for mammograms should begin starting at age 30. It is important to get regular screening at least every three years by your clincial provider. For women over the age of 40, clinical breast exams and mammograms should be performed every year.
Doing regular breast self-exams are also important to detecting cancer early.
Things to look out for during self-exams:
- Lumps or bumps
- Changes in the ski
- Dimpling nipples
- Lumps closer to under the arm