What You Need to Know to Manage Your Breast Health
With Breast Cancer Awareness events taking place throughout the month of October, you may be concerned about the ways you can manage your breast health and prevent breast cancer in your own life. Aside from getting your annual mammogram once you hit age 40, there are several things you should keep in mind for your breast health. Women at every age should be aware of the following factors, which have the biggest impact on breast cancer risk.
Normal breast tissue
The guideline for self-breast exams used to be that women should alert their doctors of any abnormal tissue while feeling the breast and underarms in the shower or in front of the mirror. However, what is normal and abnormal differs for every woman, so the important thing is to know your own breasts. When you feel any changes from what is normal for you, your doctor should be notified.
Cancer fighting habits
Some habits will help reduce your overall cancer risk, making them beneficial for your breast health too. These habits include eating a diet rich in fresh produce, exercising regularly, and maintaining a schedule of annual checkups with your primary physician.
Family health history
If breast cancer is hereditary in your family, you may be at a higher risk for breast cancer earlier in life due to BRCA gene mutation. You should discuss your family history of breast cancer with your physician so that he or she can decide if genetic testing is necessary. This may alert you to a need for mammograms earlier than 40 to increase the chances of early cancer detection.
Certain reproductive factors can raise a woman’s risk for breast cancer, because of the cancer’s receptiveness to estrogen. Not all breast cancers are estrogen-sensitive, but those that are may be more likely if you have not had children, did not breastfeed your child, or began menstruation earlier in your adolescence.
If it is time for your annual mammogram, you can trust West Hills Hospital , which has Mammography Accreditation from the American College of Radiology. For a closer look at our breast care services, visit our website or call (818) 676-4000 to reach our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line 24/7.