5 Essential Tips for Your Breasts’ Health
Ensuring your breasts are healthy is one of the biggest responsibilities of every woman. While breast cancer can also appear in women who have none of the risk factors, there are some things you can do to make sure that your breasts are in perfect health. Don’t worry, there is nothing too extreme or time-consuming. Check out our list of 5 essential tips:
1. Examine yourself regularly
As an OB/GYN, I urge all my patients to perform self-exams on their breasts every month. This goes especially for women who have reached perimenopause or menopause. Since it’s your body, you are equipped enough to tell when something goes wrong. If you feel a lump, a minor pain or a nodule, don’t wait for it to go away on its own. No matter how small the irregularity, you still need to see a doctor immediately. The right diagnosis made at the right time can save your life and timely discovery is essential in cancer treatment.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
As women, most of us obsess over losing weight or getting in shape. And it’s not all about the looks; you now have an even better reason to keep your weight in check: obesity and weight fluctuations are some of the most important breast cancer risk factors. The same goes for being underweight – your body needs a normal amount of nutrients and fat tissue to be in shape, so make sure you don’t deprive it of anything just for the sake of appearances.
3. Don’t forget to exercise
Again, this is a recommendation that benefits your overall health, not just that of your breasts. Fat cells produce estrogen; high levels of estrogen have been linked to breast cancer occurrence. So, in order to avoid having too much estrogen, cut the evil from the root: remove the excess fatty cells by exercising. The American Cancer Society recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Hop on your bike or start running in the park – whatever makes you feel good is good for your body, as well.
4. Fill up on antioxidants and cancer-repellent foods
If you needed a new excuse to indulge in chocolate, this is it: this delicious treat can fight aggressive cancers like nothing else. But, beware: this is only true for dark chocolate (don’t worry, this is actually good news for your weight). Along with a few squares of dark chocolate, eat as many fruits and veggies as possible, especially those that are brimming with antioxidants: berries, red grapes, broccoli, and any other ones that are rich in beta-carotene (like goji berries and carrots, for instance).
5. Get screened on time
There are cancers that may be missed on self-exams and there is no other way to get a clean bill of health than the screenings that are appropriate for your age. For women in their 20s, a clinical breast exam performed by the OB/GYN during the regular annual visit is enough. For women in their 30s, the same exam should be performed; however, if you have a family history of breast cancer, you should talk to your physician about when you should start getting regular MRIs or mammograms. Women in their 40s and up should get a yearly mammogram along with their clinical exam. Aside from these tests, you can always get an ultrasound – these are safe for any age and a very precise diagnosis tool.
If you are worried about the health of your breasts, gynaecologist Dr. Fefelova in Barrie, Ontario can help you with diagnosis, consultation and expert advice. Call and make your appointment now!