Thursday, 22 September 2016

Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight is an important goal for everyone. Being overweight can increase the risk of many different cancers, including breast cancer.

Physical activity: Women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check.
Diet: A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer.  
Cigarettes: On top of lowering quality of life and increasing the risk of heart disease, it can also cause stroke, and cancers including breast cancer.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It also has great health benefits for the child.
Birth control pills: Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill – particularly if a woman smokes.
Post-menopausal hormones: Post-menopausal hormones shouldn’t be taken long term to prevent chronic diseases, like osteoporosis and heart disease. Studies show they have a mixed effect on health, increasing the risk of some diseases and lowering the risk of others, and both estrogenonly hormones and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones increase the risk of breast cancer. If women do take post-menopausal hormones, it should be for the shortest time possible.
Family History: Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so it’s important for women to know their family history.

Screening

Despite some controversy, studies show that breast cancer screening with mammography saves lives. It doesn’t help prevent cancer, but it can help find cancer early when it’s most treatable.  For most women, regular mammograms can begin at age 40, but specific recommendations vary by age and risk.
Between 40 – 44: It is important to talk to a doctor about the risk and benefits of mammograms at these ages.
Between 45 – 54: Mammograms are recommended every year.
From age 55 or over: Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.

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