To an extent women can empower themselves by lowering their disease risk and one of the ways in which they can do this is by maintaining better breast health. Though breast cancer is not well predictable, and neither is it something that we can control in a majority of cases, women can ensure that they do all that they can to prevent problems.
1. Wear well fitting bras that offer proper support but which are not tight and don’t pinch or cut into the skin, so as not to impede the blood circulation and not to interrupt proper functioning of the lymph nodes.
2. Try breast massage – Some traditional medical systems advocate the massage of breasts for improving breast health.
3. Learn breast self exam – Be familiar with your breasts – their appearance, size, feel, consistence and so on; both visual and palpable. Also acquaint yourself with the changes that occur on a monthly basis – tenderness, pain and so on.
This way any change in the appearance or the feel of the breast will be more clearly evident to you. Perform regular breast self exams at the same time each month and in the same way and don’t ignore anything that doesn’t seem quite right.
4. Undergo regular mammograms – Much before you can feel any lump in your breast, it will be able to be detected by mammograms. Undergo regular mammograms as directed for your age and risk factors.
5. Avoid Xenoestrogens – try and eat organic produce to avoid pesticides and other chemicals, and Xenoestrogens; which have been implicated in problems ranging from cancer to infertility.
6. Breastfeed – This is thought to decrease chances of developing breast cancer. So the longer you breastfeed and the more babies you breastfeed, the better this is supposed to be for you.
7. Lower stress – The hormonal changes that stress creates in the body can lead to number of problems; and this can even include breast disease.
8. Have a healthy lifestyle – Having a healthy diet rich in natural nutrients (read lots of whole grain, nuts, veg and fruit) and low in sugars, saturated fats and salt is known to improve breast health. Regular exercise is also very important to keep the immune system fighting fit and able to repel disease as well as to keep body weight within safe ranges.
Moderation in terms of alcohol consumption is also known to improve health. Giving up smoking will improve all aspects of health, not just breast health.