Breast cancer prevention: Part 2

Breast cancer is serious. But if you are serious about making changes in your life you can work toward lowering your chance of getting the disease. Breast cancer is costly, even if you do have an adequate health insurance plan.  Here is a continuation of the list of things you can do to prevent breast cancer.

Take preventative medicine. This only applies to those women (and men) who are at an increased risk. However, this is not a miracle pill. But it can cut your chances of getting breast cancer by 50%. The biggest problem is awareness about the medication. Many women who might be good candidates never start taking the pill because they have no idea. If you think you might be at risk, ask your doctor to conduct a breast cancer risk test. After asking you a series of questions you will learn your risk score. If you have a higher than 70 percent chance of getting breast cancer, you are a good candidate for the drug. But with any medication, this one has serious side affects, so you must weigh out your options before instantly popping the pill.

Look to women in your family for answers. Breast cancer is highly genetic, but that does not mean you are automatically doomed to get the disease. The biggest sign to look at is when the women in your family had skin cancer. Before they had menopause? It could be a big sign that your genes are playing a big part. But post menopause breast cancer is typically attributed to aging.

No family history of breast cancer? You’re not out of the woods. More than 90% of women who get the nasty disease do not have a family member who suffered from it. Sadly, just because you are a woman (and have estrogen running through your body) puts you at risk. Also keep a look out for other types of cancers in your family, and not just on your mom’s side. Your body might be more susceptible to cancers if you have a history of any type of cancer.

Stop smoking. Your breasts do not like it. Smoking not only eats away your insides, like your mouth, tongue, esophagus and lungs, it affects the health of your breasts as well. Women who smoke have a 16 percent higher chance of getting breast cancer than their non smoking counterparts. Do yourself, and the the people around you, a favor and stop lighting up. It is bad for you, bad for your friends and family, and just plain bad for the environment. And let’s be real. It has never been cool.

Exercise just 30 minutes a day to cut cancer risk by 20 percent. Regular exercise, like a healthy weight, it beneficial all around. It affects your overall mental and physical well being. And exercising just 30 minutes a day (who doesn’t have an extra 30 minutes a day? Turn off the TV and get moving!) five times a week lowers estrogen in your body while boosting your immune system.