October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month — the perfect time to consider your risk factors and take a stand against the disease that affects 1 in 8 women at some point in their lifetime.
Do you know what your breast cancer risk is? Although there are certain genetic risk factors for breast cancer that cannot be prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Breast cancer is most treatable when it is caught early — that’s why regular screenings are important. There are three main types of screenings: the breast self exam, the clinical breast exam and the mammogram. Talk to your doctor about which of these screenings are right for you and how often you should have them.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight may increase your risk of breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about what your healthy weight is, and how you can get there or maintain it.
Ditch the Smokes and Limit Drinks
Smoking can greatly increase your risk for breast cancer. Likewise, drinking alcohol can also increase your risk. If you do drink, try to limit it to one drink per day.
Because exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and may enhance the immune system, it could help lower your breast cancer risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.
If you would like more information on how to reduce your risk of breast cancer, our online Health Library is a great resource. To learn more about our services here at Central Florida Regional Hospital, including our Digital Mammography and Cancer Care, visit us online or call our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-800-445-3392.