7 Life-Changing Tips For Breast Health
Oct 7, 2020
You might’ve noticed that October is back by seeing all the Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaigns suddenly springing up on Instagram and Facebook. So, yes, it’s that time again when we all should remind ourselves of the importance of being healthy.
Here’s where you can start: research your family history with relation to breast cancer. Call your mom. Ask other relatives. Not only will this help drive breast health awareness, you’ll be actually collecting useful data, since those with breast cancer in their family do have a higher risk of getting it. If you find anything, refer to your physician to find out more about breast cancer causes and prevention, and come up with a plan accordingly.
In addition, there’s nothing more important for breast cancer prevention than your long-term health, which primarily consists of small changes to your lifestyle and daily routines. So consider incorporating these seven breast health tips today.
1. Don’t skip your workouts
As you probably know, exercise is essentially a panacea for nearly everything that might go wrong with you, from insomnia to metabolism issues. And breast cancer.
Regular exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, which in turn limits estrogen production (since fat cells produce estrogen). This is a problem because high levels of estrogen have been linked to certain cancers.
All you need to do is work out at least three times a week or, better yet, try to keep active every day, by getting up from your desk frequently, taking the stairs and hitting those 10K steps.
While we’re on this topic, make sure you have the right-fitting and supportive sports bra, so you always feel comfortable. And if you exercise outside, don’t forget your sunscreen — when your skin is exposed to the sun, you definitely don’t want to absorb too much UV light.
2. Eat fresh
Everyone knows they should limit their intake of processed foods. But rather than thinking about that, just make sure you fill out your weekly menu with lots of fruits and vegetables. You never need to go hungry if you’re eating what’s healthy!
Next time you’re in the supermarket, get your week’s worth of salads, especially spinach since it has DNA-repairing folate, but also some grapes, with their antioxidant resveratrol that could be linked to anticancer properties, as well as some dark chocolate, which might have compounds that fight fast-growing cancers.
3. Consume less alcohol
You’ve probably heard that a little bit of red wine is good for you (see grapes above), and that could be true. But studies have found that women who have more than two drinks a day may increase their risk of developing breast cancer by 50%. So stick to that one glass of wine.
4. Decrease your stress levels
Research suggests that being stressed out could increase the risk of developing cancer as well, especially since stress is correlated with our alcohol intake, overeating and exercising less.
To become more mindful, try meditating or journalling for a few minutes in the morning, and don’t forget to meet up with friends and watch an occasional comedy for some laughs.
5. Get more sleep
Sleeping for seven to eight hours not only regulates all the most important processes in our bodies, it also produces melatonin that helps keep our estrogen levels in check. So make full use of blackout shades (or a sleep mask) and get to bed on time.
6. Self-exam regularly
The most important benefit of regular self-examination is to know your body and be familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel, so you can spot any change early. And if you do — don’t freak out. Over 80% of lumps you could feel in your breasts are benign. Just schedule an appointment with your doctor to get it checked.
7. Rely on professionals
Regular screenings should be an important part of your breast cancer prevention plan. Set reminders in your calendar for doctor visits at least every three years in your 20s and 30s, and yearly in your 40s and 50s.
Mammograms are also very effective for detecting breast cancer in early stages. Consult with your doctor as to how often you should receive them in your particular situation.
Here you go, seven tips for breast health awareness that you can start implementing or reintroduce into your routine this month. At Alterna, we’re positive that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when said prevention makes other parts of your life better too!