10 Ways to Enhance Breast Health, Cut Cancer Risks

We hear a lot about breast cancer. For good reason: It’s a significant health threat — especially for women. About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

In this blog we’re sharing some effective steps you can take to improve your breast health and reduce your risks for breast cancer. These tips can also improve your overall health and wellness!

 

Quit smoking. If you’re among the 85 percent of Americans who don’t smoke, you’re already ahead of the game. If you’d like help in finding an effective way to quit, see your health care provider. Or visit smokefree.gov .

Limit or eliminate alcohol and caffeine. One drink a day or less is a guideline to follow for better health.

Stay at a healthy weight. Your health care provider can help you determine a healthful weight for you. If you need help to lose weight, Aurora offers a number of good weight management resources.

Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. See the American Cancer Society’s recommendations for optimal body weight and nutrition.

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Check out these five secrets for starting and sustaining good fitness habits

Avoid refined or heavily processed foods. Avoid refined sugar. Consider alternatives such as stevia, xylitol, agave nectar or honey.

Get enough sleep. We have some good tips for better sleep. If you feel you may have a sleep disorder, Aurora offers professional help in diagnosing and resolving sleep issues.

Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Some research suggests that high doses of radiation may be linked to breast cancer. If a test using radiation is suggested for you, visit with your health care professional for a discussion about the test’s safety and necessity.

Be aware of your breasts’ appearance. Self-breast awareness can be a good way to notice changes that may be a sign of a problem such as breast cancer

Breast cancer symptoms may include:

  • A change in how your breasts or nipples feel. This may include tenderness, a lump in the breast or armpit, or a change in your skin’s texture.
  • A change in your breast or nipple appearance. This can include a change in size, dimpling, swelling, shrinking, asymmetry (such as a difference in breast size or position on your body) or inverted nipples (one or both nipples retract into the breast).
  • Spontaneous or bloody nipple discharge.

Get your recommended breast screenings. Your health care provider can discuss the best screening plan for you. Screening recommendations differ based on your individual risk factors such as being a smoker, your family cancer history, age, weight and overall health. 

 

Timely screenings can catch breast cancer early when it can often be treated successfully.

If you have any questions about breast cancer or cancer in general, visit with your health care provider. You can make an appointment online.

Meet the Author

Judy A. Tjoe, MD is a surgeon who specializes on breast disease at Aurora Comprehensive Breast Care Center in Milwaukee, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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