Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a Good Reminder
We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and most of us know at least one person who has been affected by this terrible disease. And as much as we may not like to think about it ladies, this awareness month is a very good reminder to have our breasts / ‘the girls’ / ‘tatas’ or whatever you like to call them checked.
Sure, time gets away from us and before we know it, another year goes by. But putting off the life-saving check-up is not a good idea. So, to help put this into perspective, here are a few facts about breast cancer:
· According to the CDC, every year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer. And more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
· About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age, according to the CDC.
· According to Cancer.org, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women and the chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 36 (about 3%).
The above facts are not meant to scare you. But it is meant to ‘put a bug in your ear’. Think about it. Every time we turn around, a loved one or someone we know is getting cancer.
So, what can we do to avoid breast cancer? Be proactive!! That means doing the recommended screenings and knowing what kind of warning signs and symptoms to look for. Reducing your chances of getting cancer of the breasts requires early detection.
To help you learn how to do that, here are a few helpful links.
· Signs and Symptoms by National Breast Cancer.org
· How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam by National Breast Cancer.org
· 7 Things to Know About Getting a Mammogram by Cancer.org
Once you have your recommended screening and receive the ‘all-clear’, you should also consider other preventative ways to reduce your risk for developing breast cancer. Of course, there are specific factors you cannot change, such as family history, your age and perhaps your genetic predisposition. However, for those of us who are already pursuing a healthy lifestyle, you have the added bonus of reducing your cancer risks.
The following list provides a few ways you can decrease your chances of developing breast cancer (and of course, improve your overall wellness).
· Maintain a healthy weight
· Exercise regularly
· Limit alcohol consumption
· Eat a diet that contains mostly fruit, veggies, healthy carbs and lean proteins
· Limit sweets, artificial ingredients and processed foods
· Talk with your doctor about any oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
· Limit your exposure to cancer causing chemicals
To recap, October is a wonderful month to celebrate the many people who have survived breast cancer as well as remember those who didn’t. But it is also a great reminder to all of us, including myself, to set up our screening appointment especially if it’s been awhile since your last one.
For more detailed information related to breast cancer, please review the following website.
- Center for Disease Prevention & Control Breast Center
- Cancer.org Breast Cancer
- National Breast Cancer
Remember my wellness friends; we can’t control every little facet of our health or body. But there are some things we CAN control – getting our annual preventative screenings, eating healthy, staying active and pursing a healthier lifestyle.
Take care of yourself and take care of your breasts!