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Breast Health

Posted on August 26 2015

Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to live a healthy life.  The health of your breasts matters too and seriously impact how you feel.  By investing the time to check your breasts and staying in shape, you will do yourself (and your boobs) a favor.

   

STAYING IN SHAPE

Being active and living a healthy lifestyle has many benefits.  It allows your body to be able to store up energy and fit against diseases.  Being overweight can increase your risk for developing a disease and not being about to survive it, such as breast cancer.  Working towards feeling physically and mentally good about yourself and your body promotes better health for yourself as a whole.  

 

 

BREAKING A SWEAT

Regularly working out helps strengthening  your body and your mind.  It may help prevent illness by boosting immune function, and lowering levels of hormones in your system.  Exercise maintains a symbiotic relationship with all parts of your body and can improve most aspects of your health.  Setting a routine for yourself, like trying to workout for a similar amount of time each (or every other) day, can improve your body’s stability and functions.

 

 

EATING AND DRINKING HEALTHY

Leafy greens contain sulforaphane, which is believed to help prevent cancer cells from multiplying.  Loading up on vegetables and keeping to a low-fat diet can do a lot to reduce your risk of sickness and helps protect and fight unwanted cells in your body.

Additionally, research has shown that having two drinks or more a day could increase your risk of breast cancer by 21 percent.  Instead of wine, try eating fresh grapes.  The skins of the grapes may reduce unhealthy estrogen levels.  This may reduce your risk of cancer.

 

 

KNOWING YOUR HISTORY

Understanding the past can help you move forward in the routine.  With most illnesses, having one close relative with a disease, like breast cancer, can double your risk for having the same thing.  It’s important to be informed about where you come from and what potential risks you are facing.  You can get genetically tested to see if you carry any genetic mutations or DNA that could indicate cancer.

 

 

GETTING CHECKED

Every woman should have a breast exam at least every three years.  At the age of 40, these exams should increase to be annual with mammograms as well.  However, it is encouraged that all women perform breast self-exams every month.  While a mammogram can help you detect cancer before you feel a lump, self-exams better acquaint you with your own breasts so that you can be aware if something changes.

Here’s how you can do self-check your breasts:

 

1) 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. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

 

2) 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, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

 

3) 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.  Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

 

The combination of medical care and self-checks helps to catch the cancer in hopes to attack it early.  Being aware about your health and lifestyle improves your risks for getting sick.  It’s important to care for yourself and take steps to prevent anything from affecting your body.

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