Go Pink & Pretty
This last week of October, the National Daily Fashion and style team brings you all things pink and trendy in solidarity, with our fellow females living with the daily pain or dread of the cancerous lump called breast cancer. Ladies 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, sibling and relations all about them.
Breast Cancer Preventive Measures
Here are some preventive measures from Dr. Anne McTiernan, Director of the 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 percent to 30 percent. 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.
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.
Tip: If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor and don't panic! 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.
Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
• In The Shower: Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot.
In Front Of A Mirror: Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples.
• Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women's breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.
• Lying Down- When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Squeeze the nipple to check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.
TIP: Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection.