A study by Angela Cudger
Women are powerful nurturers and can naturally worry over many things. But two words always make most of us uneasy: Breast Cancer. Many people are related to or know of someone touched by the disease. While the prevalence of all cancer types are on the rise globally, breast cancer has taken a leap in recent years and the numbers continue to climb.
Globally, breast cancer now represents one in four of all cancers in women. Statistics show that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop it over the course of their lifetime. In India, it accounts for 25% to 32% of all female cancers in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, etc.
While the stats look depressing, there is also great news. Advancements in breast cancer treatment are growing every day. Plus, there are many ways to it. Here are five powerful ways to prevent breast cancer and stay ahead while staying healthy. Remember that not all of these apply to everyone, but when used together, can keep the risk of breast cancer to a minimum.
- Quit smoking and minimise alcohol use. These two things are major culprits for increasing your risk. Coupled with lowering your quality of life and increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and at least 15 cancers – including breast cancer, smoking causes poor oral health and wrinkles. A great incentive to ditch the habit for good!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Research shows that keeping the system flushed out with proper hydration not only aids in faster tissue regeneration but gets rid of cells that could aid in spreading cancer. This prevents those harmful cells from taking root and spreading throughout the body. Women should aim for 0.5 ounces of fresh water for every pound of current body weight per day. For some, this may seem like quite a bit. But the body will quickly get used to it. Start drinking daily!
- Go sweat! Exercising regularly is the key to keeping the heart and lungs healthy. Sweating allows the body to rid itself of toxins through the skin. Women that are physically active for 30 minutes a day automatically have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check. A great workout doesn’t have to be boring or strenuous. Try a rebounder or small trampoline. Just 7 minutes of low impact jumping will allow the body to move lymph fluid in a way that could prevent all forms of cancer while detoxing the entire system. It’s time to get moving!
- Know your family history. Breast cancer prevention is all about being in the know. Women with a significant family history of cancer should take specific steps to protect themselves. It’s important to know the details of your family history. You may be at high risk if you have a mother or sister who has developed breast or ovarian cancer in the past (especially at an early age) or if you have more than one family member (including males) who has developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. Your doctor or a genetics counselor can help you identify the risks and better understand your family history of this disease.
- Get proper screening. Breast cancer screening with mammography saves lives. This is the best option for finding and treating cancer early. Regular mammograms can begin at age 40. Although clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended, you should be familiar with your breasts and notify your doctor if you notice any changes in how they look or feel.
Below are some specific recommendations that vary by age:
Age 40 – 44 : You can choose to begin yearly mammograms. It is important to talk to a doctor about the risk and benefits of mammograms at these ages.
Age 45 – 54 : Mammograms are recommended every year.
Age 55 or over : Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.