A healthier diet and some lifestyle modifications can reduce your chance of cancer. The first all-important step is early detection. This includes:
* BSE or Breast Self-Exams
* Clinical breast exams performed by a medical professional
The general recommendation is that women age 20 and older should examine their breasts once a month beginning with the week following the menstrual period. As well, women between the ages 20 and 39 should have a doctor examine their breasts once every three years at least.
After age 40, women should have a mammogram every 1 – 2 years, depending on their specific risk factors. As well, women in this age demographic should have a complete breast exam performed by a health care provider every year.
Certain women at an elevated risk for breast cancer should consider having a breast MRI along with their yearly mammogram. Ask your doctor if this might be right for you.
As mentioned elsewhere on this site, tamoxifen is often used (and approved!) for breast cancer prevention in women aged 35 and older who happen to be at high risk. As an extreme option, women at really high risk for breast cancer may want to consider a preventive (prophylactic) mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of the breasts. Women with a strong family history of the disease, women with genetic mutations that raise their risk and / or women who have already had one breast removed due to cancer may want to give this option consideration.
Remember: contact your health care provider if:
* You discover a breast or armpit lump
* You’re aged 40 or older and haven’t had a mammogram in the last year
* You’re a woman aged 35 or older and a family history (a mother or sister) with breast cancer, or have already had cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, or colon.
Every year many people lose their life needlessly due to this problem. This should not be the case. We are actively trying to get the message to every single woman that check ups are a requirement. They should not be looked at as a chore that one doesn’t want to do and will get to when they have the chance. These self exams really are life savers. They save lives every year. Women who fail to do their self breast exam are just asking for trouble. On the same note regular Dr. visits and professional exams are also important. These can go deeper and see more of the problem should there be one. There is just no excuse for someone to miss out on either of these important steps in this day when we have all of this knowledge at our fingertips. You can survive Breast cancer. Be vigilant. Be Safe.