The fact is this, almost everyone reading this knows someone that is or has suffered from this disease, so it is perfectly normal for people to feel worried or frightened when you mention breast cancer.
There are a couple of ways we know that you can use to prevent developing breast cancer and while it is not a rule for everyone, it will benefit most women if followed.
Before that, there are a couple of factors that can increase a person’s chances of getting breast cancer, it is important to bear in mind that these are simply risk and their presence does not guarantee that one would get breast cancer:
- If you are older, especially 60 years and above
- If you have a family history of breast cancer
- If you had your first period before 12 years of age
- If you attained menopause at age 55 or later
- If you had your first child at age 35 and later
- If you do not have any children
- Tall height (5’8” or taller)
- If you have dense breasts
- History of benign breast disease
Having said all these, how do you reduce your chances of developing breast cancer?
Keep a Healthy Weight
Simply being overweight is a risk factor for many other cancers and breast cancer is not an exception, I know you hear it all the time, but this simple advice can prevent a lot of problems
Women who are active for at least 30 minutes in a day can reduce their risk of getting breast cancer, this also helps you keep the unhealthy weight at bay. Killing two birds with one stone so to speak
Avoid Too Much Alcohol
Even low levels of intake have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. Moderate drinking is important. If you do not drink, however, there is no need to start.
Smoking tobacco and hookah use, commonly known as Shisha in these parts increase your chances of getting breast cancer among other kinds of cancers, Smoking has many adverse factors that cannot be overemphasized
Breastfeeding, exclusively and for the period of at least one year has been shown to be protective against breast cancer and also helps your child, what did we say about one stone and two birds again?
Birth Control Pills
Women who take birth control pills have a slightly increased risk of getting breast cancer, however, there are some caveats as age is a factor here, the risk is smaller in younger women. Also, the risk is also reduced when the pill is stopped.
The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill – particularly if a woman smokes. On the other hand, it can also have benefits like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer, it is best to discuss with your doctor before taking a decision in this regard
Find Out Your Family History
If you have a family history of cancer, you should take more care in protecting yourselves against breast cancer, it’s important to know your family history. Your risk is higher if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer (especially at an early age) even males with prostate cancer
Don’t Forget Breast Examination
While there is a lot of controversy surrounding clinical breast exams and self-exams. You should be familiar with your breasts and tell your doctor if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel
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