Actions and Options to Prevent Breast Cancer Details

a. Get an annual mammogram

Screening should be performed annually from the age of 40 years or earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer

b. Perform a monthly breast self-examinations

Just after the end of a period is best, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. If you do it regularly and become familiar with the feel of the breast tissue you can recognise any changes

Things you should bring to your doctor’s attention include: Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling Fluid coming out of one or both nipples Distortions, lump or swelling, especially if they are new c. Actively prevent weight gain, especially after the menopause

Get fit Reduce your intake of empty calories

d. Give up smoking-encourage others to give up too as passive smoking will still affect your risk of breast cancer

Get a quit coach – someone who can help you plan quitting and stay off cigarettes Write a smoking diary to identify times that you may be tempted and learn about your behavior associated with smoking and cravings Make an appointment to see your doctor to look at available medical options Investigate hypnotherapy – it works for some people

e. Eat a low fat diet naturally high in antioxidants

Include at least 4 vegetables or ‘colors’ on your plate with your main meal. Color = antioxidants Have half a cup of berries 3 or 4 times per week. Fresh or frozen are suitable. Add them into cereal, a smoothie or fruit salad Have 1/2 cup of broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower daily as they have a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer Choose low fat dairy options such as 2% milk, fetta or ricotta cheese and low fat yoghurt Ensure you choose trim cuts of red meat and remove the skin from poultry Try pomegranate juice for an antioxidant hit

f. Keep up your Vitamin D levels

Spend up to 20 minutes a day in the early morning or afternoon sun. Sun exposure to the back of the shoulders and the chest equates to the greatest level of vitamin D production Get your vitamin D levels checked. The normal range of 25 Hydroxyl Vit D is 50 to 150 nmol/L, however if you wish to obtain optimal levels for peak performance then you should aim for 115 to 128nmol/L Take a vitamin D supplement if your levels are low

g. Moderate your alcohol intake

Have at least 2 alcohol free days per week Drink soda and lime without the vodka Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink Try delay tactics – put off having a drink until later in the day or tomorrow Distract yourself – do something to keep your mind off having an alcoholic drink, have a glass of water, go for a walk, have a piece of fruit or read a book Deep breaths – take 3 deep breaths and see how you feel before you automatically pour a drink

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