This week, we bring you all things pink and trendy in solidarity with all those living with the daily pain or dread of a cancerous lump in their breast. We all love our breast, whether we choose to highlight, showcase, hide or flaunt them in the best options fashion has to offer. This makes it imperative that we make ourselves aware of all the breast cancer preventive measures, treatment and personal check methods in order to adequately teach our daughters, female friends, siblings and relations all about the deadly disease snatch about 14,640 Nigerian women from us yearly.
Below are some preventive measures from Dr. Anne McTiernan, director of the Cancer Prevention Center, to keep breast cancer far from you and your girls.
1. Avoid becoming overweight
Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer after menopause, the time of life when breast cancer most often occurs.
2. Eat healthy to avoid tipping the scale
Embrace a diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in sugared drinks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods. Eat lean protein such as fish or chicken breast and eat red meat in moderation, if at all. Eat whole grains. Choose vegetable oils over animal fats.
3. Keep physically active
Research suggests that increased physical activity, even when begun later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 to 30 per cent. All it takes is moderate exercise like a 30-minute walk five days a week to get this protective effect.
4. Drink little or no alcohol
Alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Women should limit intake to no more than one drink per day, regardless of the type of alcohol.
5. Don’t smoke
Research suggests that long-term smoking is associated with increased risk of breast cancer in some women.
6. Breast-feed your babies for as long as possible
Women who breast-feed their babies for at least a year in total have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later.
7. Avoid hormone replacement therapy
Menopausal hormone therapy increases risk for breast cancer. If you must take hormones to manage menopausal symptoms, avoid those that contain progesterone and limit their use to less than three years. ‘Bioidentical hormones’ and hormonal creams and gels are no safer than prescription hormones and should also be avoided.
8. Get regular breast cancer screenings
Follow your doctor or health care provider’s recommendations to decide what type of screening you need and how often you need it.