5 tips to help reduce your risk of breast cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
(Paducah, Ky.) Oct. 1, 2020 — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to be reminded of ways to help reduce your chance of breast cancer.
A breast cancer diagnosis is stressful and startling, no matter your situation, said Mindy Cartwright, Breast Navigator for Baptist Health Paducah.
“While you can’t change some risk factors, such as genetics and aging, there are things you can do that may help lower your breast cancer risk,” Cartwright said. “Today is a perfect time to take action to help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.”
Tips that may reduce your risk include:
Schedule your Mammogram
A mammogram is a type of imaging that uses low doses of x-ray to produce pictures of the breast tissue to aid in early detection of breast diseases and cancer in women. Baptist Health offers mammograms using the latest 3D technology, to help detect breast cancer as early as possible.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause and for women who gain weight as adults. Try to maintain a healthy weight. If you are carrying extra weight, try to lose a few pounds. Five to 10 percent of your current weight over six months is an excellent way to start.
Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week. Try to limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down or watching TV.
Try to cut out alcohol or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day. A single drink equals roughly 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Avoid or Limit Hormone Replacement Therapy
Taking hormones such as estrogen and progesterone have been used for night sweats, hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. In 2002, researchers found postmenopausal women, who took a combination of these hormones, were more likely to develop breast cancer (your risk appears to return to normal within five years after stopping hormone replacement therapy). Talk with your doctor about all the options to control your menopause symptoms, and the risks and benefits of each.
“Being health aware isn’t just about eating well or staying active. It’s also about knowing your potential risks,” Cartwright said.
Our free health risk assessments at www.baptisthealth.com/patients-visitors/health-risk-assessments provide you with an evaluation of your health risk today and years down the road.
For more information or to schedule your mammogram, visit us at www.BaptistHealth.com/Paducah.