Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women. While the illness is not always symptomatic, there are still many things you can adopt into your lifestyle, to keep yourself educated about your body, and keep your breasts healthier in general.
Get regular check-ups
Make regular appointments that include breast exams. Take note of the area your doctor is checking, ask questions about what they’re doing, as well as what to look for on your own. Push past the awkwardness and take charge of your health.
Know your history
Knowing that you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer if close family members have been diagnosed can feel scary, but your relatives’ history can help you and your doctor assess how high are the risk factors. Depending on the history, the doctor can suggest screening plans, which can include not just regular breast exams and self-exams, but a schedule for mammograms, MRIs or ultrasound, if necessary.
Know your normal
Check yourself out regularly, even if it’s just a quick glance in the mirror. Being familiar with how your breasts normally look will help you identify any changes that are worth reporting to your doctor. There are a few things that you should be able to notice visually, such as;
- Significant changes in size
- Dimples, ridges or changes in texture
- Changes in your nipples
- Redness, rashes, sore or swelling
In between annual exams, check yourself out for any changes. Feeling yourself up may seem self-explanatory but make sure you are using the correct technique, examining the correct area and are aware of what abnormalities you’re looking for. Communicate with your doctor if you find anything that worries you. Choosing a specific day every month can help you make self-exams part of your routine.
Live your breast life
Some of our less than healthy lifestyle choices, like smoking, can also put us at a higher risk for many health issues besides breast cancer. Make exercise a part of your regime, make sure your diet is filled with fruits and vegetables and less red meat. Limit your alcohol consumption. Switching up your habits for a healthier lifestyle can decrease the likelihood for breast cancer and other health conditions too.