A woman is in a clothing store fitting room trying on a dress. She feels a lump on her breast. She gets nervous. All these questions start racing through her head. “Do I have breast cancer? What should I do? What should I have done to avoid this?”
If this woman is you, you are not alone. 1 in 10 women are estimated to have cancer. There are also two types of breast cancer: one that is preventable and one that is not. The good news is there are things you can do for both.
This article will discuss the things women can do about preventable breast cancer, and about how they can lessen their risks for having it.
1. Do study your family history. If your mother, sister, or aunts have had cancer, it is a good idea to get regular check-ups. Some medical websites also offer free breast cancer risk assessments that use your family history among other things.
2. Do get regular check-ups. You can do a breast self exam lying down, in the shower or in front of a mirror. Raising each arm, feel around each breast for lumps with your fingers. Clinical breast exams done by trained medical practitioners should also be part of a woman’s yearly medical check-up once she hits age 20.
3. Do eat foods rich in omega 3 fats, anti-oxidants and indole 3-carbinol. These prevent the growth of and destroy breast cancer cells. Foods with these compounds are turmeric, red wine, dark berries and cherries, pomegranates, tomatoes, avocadoes, soy, spinach, broccoli, grape seed oil, fish, and green tea. The great thing about these foods is that they are delicious and readily available in groceries and markets.
4. Do avoid foods with fats and preservatives. And while red wine is okay, other hard drinks like gin and vodka should be kept to a minimum. They increase the growth of breast cancer cells and weaken our immune systems.
5. Do avoid pollution as much as possible. Cities can be filled with smog. Household materials can contain harsh chemicals. Be a smart consumer and look for products that are good for you, your breasts health, and the environment.
6. Do ask your doctor about alternatives to hormone therapy. Women over the age of 40 usually take estrogen medications to counter the effects of menopause. While menopause can be a pain, organic ways to relieve it are encouraged. Hormone therapy can greatly increase the risk for breast cancer.
7. Do exercise. Exercise not only tones muscles and gets rid of excess fat. It also prevents breast cancer by lowering a woman’s hormone levels.
There you have it. These seven main tips can help a woman take care of her breasts and her whole body. There are also other ways to avoid breast cancer. For example, getting pregnant and breastfeeding greatly lowers one’s risk for cancer.