Breast cancer is a serious health concern for women around the world, and prevention is key. There are no guarantees, but women can take many steps to reduce their risk of developing this type of cancer.

Important things every woman should know about breast cancer:

  1. Know your risk factors. Understanding your personal risk factors for this problem is the first step in prevention. Factors that increase your risk include age, family history of breast cancer, certain genetic mutations, previous breast biopsies showing abnormal cells, exposure to radiation, and certain lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, being overweight, and not getting enough physical activity.
  2. Get regular mammograms. Mammograms are one of the most important tools for detecting cancer early, when it is most treatable. Women who are at average risk of breast cancer should have a mammogram every two years starting at age 50, while women with higher risk factors may need to start earlier and have more frequent screenings.
  3. Do breast self-exams. Self-exams can help women become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts. Women should be familiar with their breasts and report any changes to their doctor immediately.
  4. Stay physically active. Regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer in women. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Exercise not only helps reduce breast cancer risk but has a host of other health benefits.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause. Women should aim for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 to reduce their risk.

Keeping our selves healthy

  1. Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Limit processed foods, red meat, and alcohol consumption.
  2. Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Women should limit consuming alcohol. One drink per day or less.
  3. Avoid exposure to environmental toxins. Some environmental toxins such as pesticides (PAHs), and bisphenol A (BPA) have been linked to an increased risk of this type of cancer. Women should take steps to minimize their exposure to these toxins by eating organic foods, avoiding plastic containers that contain BPA, and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke.
  4. Breastfeed if possible. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer in women, especially in women who breastfeed for a longer duration.
  5. Consider chemoprevention. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer may benefit from chemoprevention, which involves taking medications to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer prevention requires a comprehensive approach that includes regular screening, healthy lifestyle choices, and minimizing exposure to environment toxins.

Every woman should understand her personal risk factors for breast cancer and take steps to reduce her risk. By taking a proactive approach to breast cancer prevention, women can help protect themselves from this serious disease. /mommytobe


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