Being aware of the breast facts, role of family history and methods of early detection are the keys to the healthiest you.
1. Fruits and veggies are your best friends- as they are rich in antioxidants hence lower the risk for developing breast cancer. So filling up atleast half your plate with veggies is a good idea.
2. Limit Alcohol and Quit Smoking- as alcohol is a proven carcinogen. It is found that women who drink more than 3 drinks a day are one and half times more prone for breast cancer compared to non drinkers.
3. Exercise!! – try to put in atleast 20 mins a day or 2 and half hours of moderate exercise every week be it dancing, swimming,walking the dog or playing with your kids . The excess of hormone oestrogen is linked to certain cancers. Exercise reduces the oestrogen production in the body as it reduces the fat cells( which produce oestrogen).
4. Folic Acid Deficiency does the same damage as Radiation!!
Folic acid which is vitamin B helps the body to make healthy new cells. We need atleast 400micrograms of folic acid daily through lentils , nuts, peas, dark green vegetables.
7. Sleep Your Troubles Away!!
Adequate sleep of 7 to 8 hours a day is recommended as the hormone melatonin which is produced mainly at night helps to prevent breast cancer.
8. Dark Chocolate indulgence – as it is believed to contain cancer fighting compounds.
9. Maintain a Healthy Weight- a BMI of less than 23 is recommended as excess weight leads to increased oestrogen production.
10. Reduce Stress- Positive Mind, Positive Vibes, Positive Life!!
11. Target Motherhood – plan to have your first child before 30 . Mothers who breastfeed their babies for 6 months or longer have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Screening guidelines for early detection of breast cancer
– 20to 40years- Clinical Breast examination every 1 to 3 years by a gynaecologist
– women aged >40years with no risk of breast cancer- annual clinical Breast examination and annual mammography from 40 to 50 years of age. After 50 years mammography can be done every 2 years .
– women with family history of breast cancer or Ovarian cancer – annual clinical breast examination and annual mammography from 35 yrs of age.
– for women with proven breast and ovarian cancer families- annual mammograms and annual breast MRI should start from 25 years of age .

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