While certain women are at higher risk of breast cancer due to genetic predisposition or radiation exposure at a young age, many people’s chances of developing this form of cancer can be altered with lifestyle changes. Good Samaritan Hospital can help you understand and implement the following actions to promote breast health:
Avoid Unnecessary Exposure to Estrogen
Having high levels of estrogen throughout life is a major risk factor for breast cancer, as estrogen promotes the division of breast cells and also feeds certain types of tumors. While a woman’s lifetime estrogen exposure partially depends on her personal chemistry and number of pregnancies, hormone replacement therapy artificially increases circulating estrogen levels, potentially putting older women at greater risk. Consuming multiple alcoholic beverages every day can also increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer, as alcohol may impact the body’s metabolism of estrogen.
Stay at a Healthy Weight
Reaching and remaining at an ideal BMI is important for overall health as well as breast health, since fatty tissue stores estrogen. Regular exercise can decrease estrogen levels and can also promote immune functioning, which helps to slow or even halt the progress of cancer. A low-fat diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and soybeans may also reduce estrogen production and absorption, in addition to facilitating a healthy weight.
Receive Regular Mammograms
Scheduling mammograms as recommended by your doctor can help you detect and address any breast cancer that does develop before it advances to the point where treatment becomes more difficult. A mammogram works by using low-dose X-rays to identify the size, placement, and density of abnormal tissue growth in the breast, which could potentially signify cancer.
Find out more about your personal risk of developing breast cancer by scheduling an appointment at Good Samaritan Hospital’s BreastCare Center. Our clinicians use mammography, ultrasound, and MRI to detect and diagnose breast cancer—call (888) 724-2362 today to learn more.