Breast Cancer: 10 Things To Know That Could Save Your Life

Breast Cancer: 10 Things To Know That Could Save Your Life

Cancer is not something anyone wants to go through. For women, who are at a significantly higher risk than men to be diagnosed with breast cancer, specific preventative measures to reduce the chances of getting the disease, can be part of a healthy lifestyle. There is a lot of information which can lead to confusion, but being armed with some basic information and the right tools can help result in early detection; the best way of fighting breast cancer.

10. Know Your Family History
Family history sometimes plays a role among people who are at an increased risk of developing cancer. There are three genes, BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2, which can increase the possibility of breast and ovarian cancers when mutated. When these genes are passed down from one or both parents, the risk increases significantly so many people who have a family history of these cancers opt for genetic testing. It is done by examining the blood or saliva.

9. Not All Symptoms Are Visible
A woman may have breast cancer and not even know it because she does not have any visible clues. Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels within the breast tissue. It may be an indication of the body’s additional supply of blood aimed at pre-existing breast tumors. The best way of detecting the condition is through a thermography because unlike mammograms, this unique technique goes to the target under the surface and into the tissue.

8. A Mammogram
Getting a mammogram can help detect breast cancer early and increase the odds of successful treatment. Small doses of radiation are used to perform the specialized x-ray of the breasts and can produce images of the cancer two to three years before it can be physically detected. For an accurate reading, the breasts are pressed between the machine plates, and most women agree it is only an uncomfortable, rather than painful, procedure.

7. There's An App For That
Smartphone users have no excuse for forgetting to check the signs and symptoms of breast cancer since an app can be downloaded for free. The app’s visual reminders include the best times to check your breasts, including in the shower and while applying lotion. It comes with quizzes which can be shared on social media to encourage your friends and to promote early detection. It is a simple and convenient tool for the tech savvy.

6. Self-exam
One of the most critical tests for early detection is the Breast Self Exam (BSE). Visual clues can sometimes be obvious and include any of the following changes: Dimpling, puckering of the skin, or bulging of the breast tissue. Nipples can change in position or become inverted, a rash can develop, and soreness and swelling can occur. It is recommended to do the BSE early in a menstrual cycle and make notes so comparisons can be done monthly.

5. Regular Checkups
A woman knows her body the best and taking a proactive approach to early detection can be a lifesaver. Regular checkups with a doctor are essential, as are clinical breast exams for women over forty. While doing self-exams, a woman can note any changes to discuss with her medical practitioner. Although women over the age of fifty are at highest risk, all women should be attentive since cancer can hit at any age.

4. Exercise
The risk of breast cancer can be reduced through regular exercise. Studies have shown that up to a thirty percent risk reduction can be achieved through quality exercise. Quality is different than intensity. Even a daily walk and active gardening for at least thirty to sixty minutes count. Daily exercise burns calories, which in turn reduces fat, where estrogen is stored. More fat means more storage space for estrogen. Paired with proper nutrition speeds up weight loss.

3. Healthy Eating
A lot of talk is generated about the benefits of proper nutrition, but it is also backed by science. Certain foods have cancer-fighting compounds, including broccoli, carrots, cabbage, pomegranates, and raspberries. It is important to have an all-around balance of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, as opposed to a diet high in sugar and saturated fats. Aim for a colorful plate by shopping the perimeters of the grocery store.

2. Sleep
Regular sleep is essential for overall health and helps in the prevention of breast, and other cancers. The quality of sleep is based on the level of melatonin in the body and researchers have found lower levels equate to growth of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cells. A good recommendation for getting enough sleep is to reduce screen time before bed. Taking three milligrams of melatonin can help those suffering sleepless nights.

1. Vitamins and Minerals
Part of a healthy diet includes ensuring all of the essential vitamin and mineral requirements are met. Vitamin D3 is important in the prevention of breast cancer and can be lacking in people with limited exposure to sunlight. Woman with breast cancer, together with low levels of D vitamins, reportedly have up to seventy-three percent higher risk of death than breast cancer patients with sufficient vitamin D levels. Magnesium and B Complex are also breast cancer fighters.