Prevent breast cancer

Cancer. The big C. It is affecting more and more families as the minutes tick by. It seems like every 5K is about some sort of cancer awareness and breast cancer is usually at the top.


Why is cancer awareness pushed so hard? Some are making a mighty big profit on the sales of pink ribbons that adorn everything from clothes, accessories, home décor and more. While some are taking advantage of the cancer scare, there is a big need for cancer awareness. And your health insurance company can also make a bundle because people rarely prepare for cancer.


Breast cancer the number 1 cancer that affects women, while life altering, does not have to be life ending if caught early on. Women perish from the disease because they detect it when the cancer is too advanced, making the struggle harder and longer. Detecting the cancer early can shorten hospital stays and lengthen your life significantly.


While many doctors spend millions of dollars earned from the pink ribbon merchandise to find a cure for breast cancer, the fact is that there is still not a cure. But not that the research is in vain. We have learned many different ways to protect ourselves as women (and as men. While this disease predominantly affects women, men can still get breast cancer.) You cannot prevent the disease, but you can do things that make you less likely to get it.


Touch yourself. Not to be gross, but women should conduct self breast exams every month in addition to a yearly visit to your gyno. Being familiar with how your breasts should feel will help you notice a lump at the beginning stages, which could be lifesaving. Not all lumps are cancerous, but if you find one visit your doctor.


Get a yearly mammogram. This is a very strong recommendation for women that are over 40 and for those who have a history of breast cancer in their genes. Mammograms definitely do not tickle, but the minimal discomfort is worth it for a peace of mind. And do not skip your yearly just because of radiation from the procedure. It is minimal and newer technology has made waves in reducing that actual radiation.


Limit your alcohol. Remember when studies showed that a drink a day could be good for your heart? Well, it does not do the body good for your breasts. Those who abstain from alcohol have a 20 percent lower chance of getting breast cancer. Is the buzz really worth it? If you decide that it is, limit your intake to a few times a week and never binge.


Keep a healthy weight. This suggestion is good for a variety of different reasons. It is good for your heart, your joint, digestive system and it can lower your chance of breast cancer. But it is not being skinny that matters. Extra estrogen can fuel tumor growth and your body will store more estrogen when you have more fat. Ditch the fat to lower the estrogen.