Get Informed About Breast Cancer
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and for good reason! Although we’ve made tremendous strides in diagnosing and treating breast cancer, it’s still the most common cancer among women worldwide. One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
This might sound scary—but we are making progress! Researchers are still working on fully understanding the causes of breast cancer, but a mix of genetic and environmental factors have been shown to impact your risk for breast cancer. And while it may not be possible to completely eliminate your chances of developing breast cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Read on to learn about some of the healthy habits that can reduce your risk, as well as to learn the truth behind some common breast cancer myths.
1. Exercise regularly. No need to start Cross-Fit (unless you’re into that!). 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, even Zumba, walking the dog or cleaning around the house, can make a difference.
2. Drink in moderation. For men, this means fewer than 2 drinks per day. For women, one drink or less per day.
3. Don’t smoke (but you already knew this one!). Smoking is a risk factor for many types of serious and chronic diseases, including breast cancer.
4. Eat a balanced diet. A diet that is high in vegetables and fruits, lower in red meat and processed foods, and features whole grains over refined bread products has been shown to reduce the risk for breast cancer and other serious ailments.
5. Perform a monthly self-exam. This might not reduce your risk of getting breast cancer, but it does mean that you’ll be able to recognize changes in your breasts and seek treatment sooner.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear…
1. Breast cancer does NOT just affect women! Although women make up the vast majority of breast cancer cases, nearly 3,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
2. Finding a lump does NOT mean that you have breast cancer. Many lumps are benign, but it is still important to consult a doctor about any new changes you notice.
3. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are NOT doomed. But you should probably be proactive about screenings and check-ups, especially if you have inherited a version of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes that increases your risk.
At Amicus, our doctors are always here to help you find ways to live your healthiest life. Schedule an appointment to discuss any concerns you might have.