Every October, the nation comes together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, using it as a time for awareness and education as well as an opportunity to honor those who have fought the disease. While the focus is on awareness and support for those affected by breast cancer, it’s also a time to discuss early detection and ways to reduce your risk of developing it. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. Keep reading to learn more about ways to help reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keep your weight in check. Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Numerous studies have linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of breast cancer. To reduce your risk, limit alcohol intake or quit drinking altogether. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. The general recommendation is no more than one drink per day. Keep in mind that even small amounts increase your risk.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating less meat and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important for overall health and can significantly impact your breast cancer risk. Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, nuts and leafy greens, which may help protect your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Consider reducing your intake of processed foods, sugary beverages and red meat, which have been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
Be Physically Active
Regular physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also helps reduce the risk of obesity-associated diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many types of cancer, including breast cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming. If you aren’t currently physically active, try to slowly incorporate walking into your daily routine and build up from there. Physical activity can help regulate hormones, boost your immune system and reduce inflammation, all of which contribute to lower cancer risk.
Get Regular Screenings
Early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer. Regular breast cancer screenings, including mammograms, clinical breast exams and self-breast exams, can help detect cancer at an early, more treatable stage. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for screening based on your age and risk factors.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the importance of early detection and prevention. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying aware of your risk factors and following recommended screening guidelines, you can take proactive steps to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Remember, these strategies not only lower your chances of developing breast cancer but also contribute to your overall health and well-being. If it’s been over 12 months since your last mammogram, now is the time to schedule. Mammograms save lives, and one of them may be yours. Call 330-965-5100 to schedule your mammogram at Southwoods Imaging today!