What Can You Do To Prevent Breast Cancer?

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Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis, but it’s one that more than 230,000 American women hear each year from their doctors. About 40,000 women die from this cancer annually. Chances are you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer either directly or indirectly. Even though genetics plays a large part in breast cancer, there are things you can do to help prevent breast cancer.

Lifestyle Changes

Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits. By choosing to limit your alcohol intake and increasing your physical activity, you will become a less likely candidate for breast cancer. Studies show that the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk for developing breast cancer. Experts recommend drinking no more than one drink per day. Even consuming small amounts of alcohol increases your risk. Increasingly, evidence is starting to show that there is a link between smoking and breast cancer particularly in women who have already gone through menopause. If you become overweight or obese postmenopausal, your risk for developing breast cancer also increases.

Studies suggest that mothers can reduce their risk of a getting breast cancer by breastfeeding, and it appears that the longer a woman breastfeeds the lower her risk of developing breast cancer.

Annual Mammograms

One of the best tools in the fight against breast cancer is getting a yearly mammogram. Doctors recommend that starting at age 40, women should undergo yearly mammograms. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you may need to get annual mammograms earlier than age 40. Be vigilant about conducting self breast exams. If a lump is spotted during these exams, contact your OB/GYN as soon as possible. Earlier breast cancer diagnoses typically result in better outcomes.

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