Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin. Below are some of the ways to reduce your risk
LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
The more you drink, the more you increase your risk of breast cancer. The reasons behind the increased odds of breast cancer associated with all forms of alcohol are not clear, but there has been an association between blood alcohol levels and changes in the amounts of estrogens and other hormones that circulate in the blood.
If you are a smoker, then take steps to quit. If you are a non-smoker, then don’t ever start. Smoking has been linked to many forms of cancer and recent evidence is now suggesting it also increases the risk of developing breast cancer. The research found that you have a 24% higher risk of getting breast cancer if you smoke. If you smoke, take steps to quit.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Being overweight has been shown to increase your risk of breast cancer. The odds are even greater if the weight gain, or obesity, developed after menopause. The reasons behind the weight changes and timing are not entirely clear but are thought to be related to hormonal fluctuations.
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
There are many benefits to being physically active, one of which is tied to reducing your risk of breast cancer. Some research suggests that women that have maintained an inactive lifestyle for many years may be at greater risk. Start exercising now.
BREASTFEED YOUR BABY
The longer you breastfeed, the more you reduce your risk. Research has pointed to a few theories, though none have been proven. One is that women who breastfeed have fewer menstrual cycles throughout their lives, and therefore less exposure to estrogen, which has been shown to fuel some types of breast cancers.
AVOID EXPOSURE TO RADIATION
Exposure to high doses of radiation to the chest area has been linked to an increase in the incidence of breast cancer. Some diagnostic testing equipment, such as computerized tomography, known as CT scans, use high levels of radiation. Be sure to wear the recommended protective equipment if you work in an area that involves radiation treatments.
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
There are many benefits to eating a healthy diet, including controlling your weight which is a way to reduce your risk. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables may be helpful in preventing breast cancer. Although study results are inconclusive in showing a clear protective effect. A slight improvement in breast cancer survival has been noted with a consistent diet that is considered low-fat.
DETECT CHANGES IN YOUR BREAST
Early awareness and rapid treatment are key variables in improving your odds of a total recovery should you develop breast cancer. Understand the signs and symptoms in order to monitor yourself for changes.
WATCH FOR NIPPLE DISCHARGE
A Liquid that leaks from your breast is alarming but is not usually a sign of anything serious. Squeezing your nipple can result in some leakage, this is almost always completely normal. There are reasons other than cancer that can cause your nipples to leak, most often being the results of an infection. Any leakage from your nipple should be examined by your doctor.