Every woman knows that breast cancer is a serious disease, but many don’t know just how serious it is. In the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women after skin cancer. It’s estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer.
While these statistics are sobering, there is good news. Breast cancer is highly treatable, especially when caught early. The five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer is nearly 100%.
When it comes to breast cancer surgery, many options are available, from lumpectomy to mastectomy. The type of surgery you have will depend on the stage of your cancer, your overall health, and your personal preferences.
After surgery, you will likely need to undergo radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments can be challenging to endure, but they are often very effective in treating breast cancer. There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, but there are some things you can do to lower your risk.
So what can you do to protect yourself from breast cancer?
1- Get regular mammograms
Mammograms are the best tool for detecting breast cancer early when it’s most treatable. The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 45 and older get a mammogram every year. If you’re under 45, talk to your doctor about when you should start getting mammograms and how often you should get them.
2- Know your family history
Breast cancer can be hereditary, so it’s essential to know if anyone in your family has had the disease. If you have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has had breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease is doubled. If you have two first-degree relatives with breast cancer, your risk is tripled.
3- Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing breast cancer. Obesity is responsible for about one in five cases of the disease. So if you’re carrying extra weight, now is the time to lose it.
4- Exercise regularly
Exercise has countless benefits, and reducing your risk of breast cancer is one of them. Women who exercise for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of developing the disease than those who don’t exercise.
5- Limit your alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer. The more you drink, the greater your risk. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start. If you do drink, limit yourself to one drink per day.
6- Don’t smoke
Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
7- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollutants
Radiation exposure is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. If you work in a job that exposes you to radiation, talk to your employer about ways to reduce your exposure. And try to limit your exposure to environmental pollutants like car exhaust and chemical fumes.
In conclusion, breast cancer is a serious disease but is also highly treatable. To lower your risk of developing the disease, get regular mammograms, know your family history, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, limit your alcohol intake, don’t smoke, and avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollutants.