October is Breast Cancer awareness month and we want to play our part. Breast Cancer affects 1 in 8 woman and many of us know someone whose life has been affected. Do you?
Breast cancer is scary. There is no cure (yet), and many of the factors that cause it are still unknown. But you can protect yourself. We may not know the exact causes of breast cancer but we are starting to understand some of the main contributors. Below is a list of the 10 best things you can do to keep your breasts healthy and increase their chances of fending off cancer. Start fighting today!
1. Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Not only is excess fat detrimental to your overall body health it is also one of the leading causes of breast cancer. Being even slightly overweight has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
2. Take up yoga, or any other exercise.
Not only does a regular fitness schedule tie back to achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, it also serves as an outlet for built up energy and stress. 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, can save your life.
3. Cut down your alcohol consumption.
You may have heard that a glass a wine a day is good for your overall health, but have you heard that two drinks could actually increase your breast cancer risk by up to 21%? Nobody knows the exact formula for alcohol consumption but I would think that less is more in this case.
4. Breast healthy foods.
Let’s just get it out of the way now… ‘Eat Your Veggies’. There. It has been said. Dreaded words to some, welcome to others, important for everyone. Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are all examples of cruciferous veggies; this cancer preventing team, nest eaten raw, is believed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying.
5. Mentally climb the family tree.
According to the ‘Genetics Home Reference’ guide to breast cancer, 5%-10% of all breast cancers are hereditary. Get out the old albums and start asking mom and dad who each of the sepia faces staring back at you are and how and when they died. 5%-10% is not a huge number but it could be the number that you fall into. Knowing could save your life.
It is time to get checked. Yes, now. Many family doctors will do a quick breast exam during your physical and this is a great start. On top of that, every woman should have a full clinical breast exam every three years at most. Mammograms should commence at the age of 40 (unless you have a history of cancer in your family, meaning you should start earlier).Keep in mind that the steps listed above should be done on top of your personal monthly checks. For a full description on the self-exam, what to look for, and how it is done visit http://women.webmd.com/breast-self-examination
7. Look a little deeper.
Genetic testing is making its mark on the cancer scene. You may have heard of the BRCA mutation and know that it can be caught early.Two red flags: (1) Being of Eastern European descent, and/or (2) having breast and ovarian cancer in your family history.
8. Self Breast-Massage
The practice of self-massage dates back many years, stems from Chinese medicine, and is not limited to the breasts. Increased blood flow and nerve impulses can release energy and stress from all parts of your body and keep it running at top function.Only do what you feel comfortable with but our suggestions is as follows:
Rub your fingers in a circular motion approximately 100 times over the entire breast area (including your armpit). Push has hard as what feels comfortable and vary pressure throughout.
9. Avoid Chemicals in your environment.
Chemicals ranging from pesticides to daily cleaners have a dramatic impact on our overall health. This means switching from chemical-free household cleaners and eating organic whenever possible.
10. Breast Feed.
The benefits of breastfeeding are endless. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed their children have a lower risk of breast cancer then those who bottle feed before the 12 month mark. Not only does breast feeding lower your risk of breast cancer it also lowers the risk of your child developing a number if diseases later in life.
ZENMED cares about the well-being of our clients and their families and friends. Because of this we will be posting blogs throughout the month relating to breast cancer and how you can protect yourself. Check back often for detailed blogs on each of the tips listed above.
Happy breast health!