For many women, the fear of breast cancer alone can remind them of the loss of body image and even death. To them, there is no other dreadful disease as breast cancer. What makes it even worse is that, advanced breast cancer has no cure, the cause is not exactly known and there is no clear cut way of preventing it.
Cancer is a disease that causes uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Breast cancer is any type of malignant (cancerous) growth in the breast tissue. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and affects approximately one out of every eight women in the U.S. Breast cancer prevention is very important as it is very difficult to cure.
1. Beginning from the age of twenty, examine the breasts every morning. If you notice any change in size, shape or appearance, check for new lump, thickening of tissue, discharge from the nipples, do well to consult a doctor immediately for further diagnoses. Have a mammogram annually after the age of 40.
2. Avoid Alcohol. Medical experts have established a relationship between alcohol intake and breast cancer. To protect yourself from breast cancer, reduce your alcohol intake to about less than one drink a day. Also take drinks with lower alcoholic content like beer, wine and mixed drinks other than gin which has a higher alcoholic content.
3. Exercise regularly to stay physically active and also to maintain a healthy weight, a good antidote to breast cancer. Do at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical exercise daily. If you have not been active for sometime, start gradually from say 5 minutes and then increase activity gradually. Include weight bearing activities such as jogging, walking or aerobics to give you an added advantage of strengthening your bones.
4. Have good dieting habits. Reduce the intake of fats and animal products in your diet as much as possible. Studies into breast cancer have shown that, women who take in more fatty foods are more likely to develop breast cancer.
5. Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. Scientists have revealed that the use of antibiotic drugs is related to breast cancer - the longer antibiotics were used, the greater the risk of breast cancer. However, other factors, such as weakened immune system may account for increased cancer risk rather than the antibiotics themselves.
6. Avoid exposure to pesticides. Prolonged exposure to pesticides is another known cause of breast cancer. Some pesticides have a molecular structure similar to that of estrogen, and may attach to estrogen receptor sites in the body. Researchers have learnt that prolonged exposure to pesticides is related to breast cancer.
7. Use preventive medications. It is recommended that women with a high risk of breast cancer may choose estrogen blocking medications. Options are raloxifene and tamoxifen. Doctors prescribe such medications for only women with high risk of breast cancer as they have serious side effects.
Prevention, they say is better than cure. Take steps to reduce your risk of breast cancer and enjoy life to the fullest.
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