5 Things Every Woman Should Do to Reduce the Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

Bravo. We’re proud of you. Chances are if you clicked on this article after reading the title, you actually care. And with 1 in every 8 women in the United States developing breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, you should be educating yourself on things you can do to not be part of that scary statistic. With Breast Cancer Awareness Month at its end, now serves as an important reminder to be in tune with your body all year long. 

 

From performing self breast exams to breastfeeding your newborn, we here at REJUCREAM have rounded up the top 5 things every woman should do to help reduce her risk of getting breast cancer. Our goal is to empower you to honor and connect with your body both physically and emotionally.

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Read on for our tips.

1. Do monthly self-checks.

From waxing appointments to self-tanning, most of us have our monthly beauty routines on a standard rotation, and checking your girls should be no different. There are three ways you can perform a self-exam: in the shower, in front of a mirror, or laying down. The National Breast Cancer Foundation advises to use the pads of your finger and “move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area.” A visual inspection in the mirror will help you detect any breast swelling, dimpling of the skin, or noticeable unevenness on one side. 
The entire process takes less than 5 minutes and a once a month check is all you need. That’s 12 times a year and less than one hour of your life. If you’re the forgetful type, pick a date in your calendar, add it to your phone, and set an alarm reminder.

 

2. If you feel something, say something.

While most lumps are not a sign of breast cancer, it’s still important to take a proactive role in the health of your breasts. According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, you should call your healthcare provider if you notice a lump that “feels different from the rest of your breast or from your other breast” or if you have nipple discharge that’s bloody, occurs in one breast, or occurs without squeezing on it. 

3. Breastfeed, if possible.

We know breastfeeding can have its challenges, from sore nipples to latching issues, but research has proven that it may be worth the effort for more than just the sake of your baby’s health. According to a study done by the Collaborative Group, “the longer women breast feed the more they are protected against cancer.” One reason may be because breastfeeding delays post-birth menstruation, lowering overall lifetime exposure to estrogen (which, in higher amounts, is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer).

 

4. Be physically active.

Beneficial to both your physical and emotional wellbeing, living an active lifestyle has been proven to lower the risk of breast cancer. Exercising lowers blood estrogen, and as noted above, high levels of estrogen can up the risk of breast cancer. 30 minutes of walking a day is all you need. Plus, being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can also help reduce the risk of recurrence in those who have previously had the disease.

 

5. Don’t smoke.

Despite causing numerous other diseases, breastcancer.org states that smoking has been “linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women.” What’s more, smoking during breast cancer treatment can also lead to an increased risk of blood clots as well as lung damage from radiation therapy. Thankfully, there are a number of resources available if you’re looking for the right steps to quit. Check the American Lung Association for more information.

 

by M. Rostamian

 

Sources:

1. National Breast Cancer Foundation: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

2. Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation: https://ww5.komen.org

3. Collaborative Group Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133652

4. Breastcancer.org: https://www.breastcancer.org