How to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is commemorated across the globe in October every year. It is marked to create awareness and gain attention for the early detection, screening, and treatment for the prevention of the disease. 
Breast cancer is the most familiar cancer affecting nearly 2.1 million women each year. 

There is no single cause that determines the chances of getting breast cancer. However, there are a few risk factors like benign breast conditions, dense breast tissues, family history of Breast Cancer, beginning menopause at an older age, obesity, and more. 

Due to no determined cause of the underlying disease, early diagnosis is the keystone in the control of breast cancer. If breast cancer is diagnosed early, with proper treatment and medications it can be cured.

Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat them, as they detect early signs of breast cancer even before the symptoms of it are visible. 

The majority of deaths happen because of the diagnosis of breast cancer in its late stages due to lack of awareness among women. In this article, we will tell you the lifestyle changes you can make as well as the ways to reduce the risks of breast cancer for women. 

1. Breast Self Examination

Adult women should do a self-examination of their breast every month and report the changes if any to your healthcare provider.

In the Shower

Using your 3 middle fingers, apply light and firm pressure, and check the entire area of your breast and armpits for any lumps or hardening knots. If you observe any unusual change, lumps, or knots, report it to your doctor immediately.

In Front of the Mirror

Stand straight with both your hands on your hips and check for any dimpling of the skin, puckering, swelling, or irregular discharge of white, yellow or red colour.  

Lying on the Bed

Lay down on the bed with a pillow placed beneath your right shoulder and your right hand behind your head. Move your left hands over the entire area of the right breast and then apply light pressure and squeeze the breast to check for any lumps or discharge. 

Repeat the same steps for the left breast. If you feel a lump or any unusual thing, schedule an appointment with your doctor and go for mammography if it fees necessary. 

2. Drink Alcohol in Moderate Quantity

Drinking alcohol regularly has been described as one of the causes of breast cancer. Alcohol changes the level of oestrogen in the body which can help some breast cancers to grow. Drinking alcohol in limited quantities can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

3. Exercise Regularly

If you are overweight or obese, your risk of developing breast cancer is high. However, exercising or keeping your body active for 20 minutes a day can reduce your chances of developing breast cancer. 

Gaining weight especially after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer as the body produces high levels of oestrogen which encourages breast cancer cells to grow.

4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The hormonal change that occurs during pregnancy leaves behind lasting changes to the cells in your breast. Having children reduces the risk of breast cancer in the long run. 

Breastfeeding alters the balance of hormone in the body and it could also change the cells in your breast which makes them less prone to the risk of changes in cells that cause cancer. 

5. Reduce the Use of Birth Control

Studies show that women who take oral contraceptives or birth control pills have a slightly higher risk of acquiring breast cancer than women who have never had them. 

Birth control implants(IUD’S, skin patches, vaginal rings) use hormones that charge the growth of breast cancer cells. Using birth control pills with a lower dose of hormones, however, is thought of reducing the risk of breast cancer. 

Although all of this can sound scary, it is important to know the facts and to know that you are not alone. Breast cancer can even be present without the show of the abovementioned symptoms. 

Therefore, you should not skip self-examination once a month and go for regular checkups once a year with the doctor. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month let’s spread awareness regarding breast cancer and extend our support to all the warriors beating cancer. 

Edited by: Christeena George

Written By: Nandita Singh

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  1. Excellent article!!!!! Keep posting innovative and thought provoking articles Nandita.....