Because Pink Rocks!
As we are now in the month of October, the world is aware of the significance of what it means to Think Pink. Per www.breastcancer.org, "About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer." Unlike other various forms of cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, no matter the race or ethnicity. Wow.
The most significant risks for developing breast cancer rely heavily on inherited predisposition to the disease, for instance changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can be a precursor for the development of breast cancer. Although there are no preventative measures per se, there are risk factors that we as women have significant control over. Knowing these risk factors can definitely minimize the development of breast cancer. Listed below are a few things that you can do to actively help aid in lowering your risk.
1. Keep your weight in check and get physical. It may seem like an overused cure-all, but let's be honest with ourselves. Being overweight can foster the onset of multiple diseases as well as various forms of cancer, especially after menopause.
2. Eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies. Our bodies need the proper fuel to perform at it's peak. Supplying your body with nutrient and vitamin rich foods can improve overall health.
3. Stop smoking and limit the booze. Smoking poses multiple health threats, and women that are pre-menopausal that smoke have an increased an increased risk. Drinking should be moderate (one a day or less), as there are some links between excessive alcohol consumption and the development of breast cancer.
4. Avoid Birth Control Pills After the Age of 35, or If You Smoke. Although birth control pills have a lot of benefits, but the offset is an increased risk. However that risk does go away after discontinuing use of the pills. There is also risk for stroke and heart attack for women that take the pill after the age of 35, especially if you smoke.
5. Perform self-breast exams, and GET SCREENED! Although neither of these will actually prevent breast cancer, they can help discover cancer in it's earliest stages when it is most treatable.
Modern medicine continues to amaze us all, and we have to believe that one day, there will be a cure. But until then, it is our responsibility to take as best care of our bodies as possible. Show your support and get involved in the cause! Call your sister, mother, aunt, or bestie and remind them to perform their self-breast exam, and if age appropriate, schedule a mammogram for screening.