1 – Self-testing is no longer officially recommended – but done anyway.
Recognizing the shape and feel of your breast is still a smart move, because some types of breast cancer are not captured by mammograms and others can develop between annual mammograms. “The fastest growing and most aggressive tumors are mostly tumors that often appear between tests,” says Ann M. Wallace, MD, professor of clinical surgery and team leader at the University of California, San Diego Morse’s Breast Cancer Program.
You don’t necessarily have to examine your breasts in a particular pattern or do it exactly the same day each month, but you should check it often enough to distinguish the disturbing change from the usual lumps and bumps. If you notice something strange, do not panic (many blocks are quite benign), but contact the document immediately to get it.
2 The radiation you get from mammography is minimal.
New research has found that the risk of exposure to mammograms is lower than previously thought. What’s more, the latest digital mammograms use about 22% less radiation than mammography, says Dalia Sataloff, MD, clinical professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and director of the Integrated Breast Center at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. They also take clearer images, so there’s less chance of contacting you for a repeat test. “Most centers have digital mammography, but check in advance to make sure,” says Dr. Satalov.
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3 drink a day may be too much.
Alcohol may be good for your heart, but when it comes to your breasts, this is another story: Research suggests that one drink a day may increase your risk of breast cancer, says Christine Laronga, director of clinical medicine for breast surgical oncology at the H. Le Moffit Center. Cancer in Tampa. To be safe, limit yourself to three drinks per week, but don’t usually get used to “saving” your weekly drinks and eating them all in one night. If you usually have two or three glasses of wine or cocktails at once, the risk of breast cancer is 20% higher than if you are completely abstinent, according to Susan G. Komen for treatment. The way alcohol is metabolized in a woman’s body may increase estrogen levels in the bloodstream, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Research has shown that getting enough folic acid (folic acid) – at least 600 micrograms per day – may help reduce some of the damage caused by regular drinking. You’ll find it in orange juice, leafy vegetables, beans and fortified breakfast cereals. For additional insurance, ask your doctor if you should take the multivitamins they contain.
4 What you weigh is more important than what you eat.
Although it is true that a healthy diet may help, whether individual foods can reduce the risk of breast cancer is controversial. But there is no denying the strong impact of weight. Many studies have found that excess pounds increase the risk of postmenopausal or recurrent breast cancer. “The more fat you have in your body, the more estrogen in your body,” explains Dr. Laronga. Estrogen can stimulate tumor growth. The good news: If you are overweight, weight loss may help reduce risk.
If you are at increased risk, taking a preventive drug may reduce your risk of infection by half.
If taking a pill may reduce your risk of breast cancer by more than 50%, are you seriously considering it, right? Unfortunately, the fact is that many women are qualified for preventive drugs (selective estrogen receptor inhibitors or hormone inhibitors) no, because they do not even know that they are good candidates. How do you know if you’ll think of one of these drugs that can save life? “Start by asking your doctor to calculate your breast cancer risk using a tool like the Gill model,” says Therese Bevers, medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas at Houston. You will answer a series of questions about risk factors, then you will get a result. If your risk is high – at least 70% of your risk of breast cancer in the next five years – talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of using these meds, as they can have serious side effects.
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