Preventative Measures Every Woman Can Take for Good Breast HealthIn numerous cases breast cancer can be prevented through health education and behavioural changes. The following are some safe, painless, side-effect-free suggestions for basic breast health.
Self-AwarenessAs the Ancient Greek saying goes, “Know thyself!” Become familiar with your breasts by checking how they look and feel once amonth. Perhaps the best time to examine your breasts is while bathing. In menstruating women this should be done in the week after the menstrual flow stops. By doing this you will learn what is “normal” for you so that you can be conscious of any unusual changes that occur over time. If you detect something strange, report it to your primary healthcare provider. Self-exams empower you to take ownership of your own breast health on a regular basis.
Clinical CheckupsA clinical breast examination is done by a health professional (usually your family doctor). It should be part of every woman’s annual physical examination. Your doctor will look and feel for changes in the skin and for abnormalities in the size or shape of your breasts, such as irregular lumps. It is important to get this second opinion from a professional, in addition to examining yourself at home. If you’re unsure of your technique, this examination is the perfect time to ask for additional breast health information, advice and support.
ThermographyThermography is an alternative breast cancer screening procedure that can be beneficial in preventative breast health when combined with self and clinical exams. It can also be used in conjunction with other imaging systems, such as ultrasound, if concerning results are found. However, science suggests that thermography is not sensitive or accurate enough to be a stand-alone diagnostic test. Thermography is non-radiative and non-invasive; instead, it uses a heat-sensitive infrared camera to take pictures of the body from four to six feet away. The thermal images can reveal warning signs of breast cancer before a breast tumour has actually developed, allowing you time to intervene.
Top 6 Tips to Prevent Breast Cancer
- Avoid exposure to known carcinogens such as tobacco smoke, radiation and asbestos.
- Get ten hours of moderate exercise every week.
- Don’t use oral contraceptives.
- Keep daily alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables and, when appropriate, take supplements of essential nutrients, such as Iodine, Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids.
- See a healthcare practitioner for individualised recommendations. Drop by Mr Vitamins and ‘Ask a Naturopath’.