A cancer diagnosis can be frightening. Unfortunately, breast cancer is one of the more common cancers that affect women. Fortunately, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Taking control of your health can be empowering. Read on to learn more about what you can do to protect your health.
1. Overall Health
When it comes to reducing the risk of cancer, keeping your weight and health in check is important. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious food, and exercising regularly can help lower the risk of breast cancer. It is also important to take daily vitamins, especially as you grow older. Healthy eating patterns can also help lower your risk. Make a point to eat vegetables, fiber-rich legumes, fruits, and whole grains.
It turns out alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for breast cancer. Research has shown that drinking any alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, the American Cancer Society recommends no more than one alcoholic drink a day. This means that one drink at the end of the day is okay, but don’t get drunk every weekend.
3. Hormone Replacement Therapy
Another risk factor for breast cancer can be hormone replacement therapy. HRT uses a combination of estrogen and progestin. This combination can also lead to increased breast density, which makes it harder to find breast cancer on a mammogram. Cancer can be especially difficult to find in larger breasts. it is always best to talk to your doctor when it comes to these types of issues.
4. Birth Control
If you are past the age of 35 or if you smoke, birth control may also increase your risk of breast cancer. Younger women have a lower risk when they use birth control pills, but the risk of breast cancer, along with stroke or heart attack, increases with age. If you're concerned about breast cancer and birth control pills, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor first.
5. Get Screened
What is the best way to reduce risk? See a doctor! Giving yourself a monthly self-breast exam and getting an annual mammogram can be the difference between finding cancer at stage 0 or at stage 1. Stay in touch with your doctor about the potential risks in your life and which exams should be performed. Unfortunately, these exams will not eliminate your risk of breast cancer, but they can reduce it.
It is so important to know about your family’s medical history when it comes to breast cancer. Collecting your family’s history of breast cancer, including the men, can be the difference between you and the c-word.
Learn More About Birth Control and Breast Cancer
At BASS Medical Group, our qualified doctors and specialists can help you lower your risk of breast cancer, diagnose it, and work with you through every step of treatment. Get in touch with us today at(925) 350-4044 to find out how we can help you.