Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Oct 17, 2016
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's important to remember to take steps to help prevent breast cancer. Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits —such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
- Don't smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
- Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week
Eating an overall healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables may decrease your risk of certain types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.
What else can I do?
Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.
Hope Danielson, Director of Health and Wellness for County Market