Around 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year. This October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and together we all need to do our part. Throughout this month, Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy would like to spread the word by highlighting five ways to decrease your risk of developing this condition:
- Know Your Family History – Approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary. This percentage isn’t huge, but it is high enough to pay attention to. If you do have breast cancer in your family history, consult a geneticist. You can then determine if you carry the genetic variation, BRCA2, that makes you more prone to developing breast cancer.
- Know your body – Dense breasts make your cancer risk approximately six times higher. Become familiar with how dense your breast tissue is and look for changes as you age. While there is nothing you can do to decrease the density of your breast, you can ask to have an additional MRI or ultrasound screening during your next scheduled mammogram.
- Stay fit –Experts recommends keeping your exercise to at least 150 minutes per week, which is 30 minutes per days for 5 days per week. This activity can help to boost your immune system and keep your body fighting off unwanted invaders.
- Eat right – Studies have shown that women who had high carotenoid levels in their blood system had a 19 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Aim to get more carotenoids in your system by eating additional fruits and vegetables. Foods such as leafy greens, red peppers, and carrots are a few examples of foods high in carotenoids.
- Detect early – If found early, your prognosis is drastically improved. You have a 90 percent survival rate if found early and confined only to the breast. How do you detect early? Know your breast tissue, know your family history, and get screenings more often and earlier if you think you are at a higher risk for breast cancer.
There are many tips available to reduce breast cancer risk including breast-feeding, minimizing hormone therapy and reducing exposure to radiation. At Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy, we want to support you in your fight against breast cancer. Please share these tips throughout October and continue to educate your friends and family on Breast Cancer Awareness.