The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Whether it’s you or someone close to you who has been diagnosed, going through chemo or other treatment, or just looking for ways to be pro-active to lower your risk of breast cancer – the American Cancer Society is a great resource. Here are some highlights:
While there are some breast risk factors that you can’t control, there are some that you can change. According to the American Cancer Society both drinking alcohol and being overweight or obese can increase your risk. Compared to non drinkers, those who have 2 to 3 drinks a day have about a 20% higher risk compared to those who don’t drink. To help control this risk factor – the American Cancer Society recommends that women who drink have no more than 1 drink a day. They also recommend that you stay at a healthy weight throughout your life and avoid excess weight gain, especially after menopause. To learn more about other risk factors you can control including breast feeding and birth control, click here.
Breast cancer early detection is important. Because many women with breast cancer have no symptoms, it’s important to have regular breast cancer screenings. To learn more on the different imaging tests such as mammograms, MRI scans, and more – click here.
If you have any of the following factors listed below, the American Cancer Society recommends that you get a mammogram or other screening every year.
- Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
- Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves
- Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
- Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes
Source: American Cancer Society Website