Do you have a good relationship with the size and shape of your breasts? Or is a relationship that calls for improvement? Regardless of your perspective on your breasts, one thing is for sure: you likely desire to stay healthy and avoid risk factors.
According to BreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of their lives. And an approximate 252,710 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2017 alone. Even with stats like these, most women do not know what they can do to keep their chests healthy.
Do you feel like you are floundering in a storm of misinformation? Haven’t kept up with the news regarding breast health best practices?
Curious about what the latest health news has to say about your breasts in 2018? Here’s what you should know.
- Toss the breast implant myth regarding breast cancer.
Heard the myth how breast implants could lead to breast cancer? Or that they prevent early detection of malignant tumors?
Perhaps it used to be the case that breast implants could hide growths in the breasts. But with today’s technology, this is no longer the case. You are perfectly safe getting breast implants and still getting an accurate reading when going in for a mammogram.
Dr. Andrew Lofman, a Michigan breast augmentation expert, says, “Studies indicate that mammograms are still an effective screening method for breast cancer—even for women who have undergone breast augmentation.”
He goes on to advise that the most vital thing to do when having a screening is to let the technician know you have implants. This will not only help ensure an accurate result. But will also help the medical staff use techniques to reduce the risk of to your implants.
- Getting screened for breast cancer could result in a false positive.
Do you know what age you should start yearly screenings for breast cancer? Would it surprise you to learn that the suggested age is at 50 and not 40? And even then, the advice suggests once every two years, and not annual screenings.
For many years, doctors advised women to start yearly screenings at age 40. But, after reviewing years of statistics and data, the USPSTF found little evidence to support mammograms for young women. In other studies, researchers have found that mammograms in young women often lead to false positive results.
For those of us who are heavy procrastinators, this may come as welcome news. But experts still recommend caution. If a person has risk factors associated with breast cancer, then early screening might be called for. Risk factors for breast cancer include smoking, a family history of breast cancer, poor lifestyle choices, etc.
- Lumps are not as scary as all that.
Have you found a lump in your breast? Before freaking out, take a deep breath and know the following. Four out of 5 lumps in the breasts are harmless, or about 80 percent.
The chances are high that the lump you are fretting over is a benign cyst or a fibroadenoma, rather than a breast cancer tumor.
Fibroadenoma is a harmless growth which feels firm and does not need removal. Cysts are often tender when prodded and your doctor may advise draining it if the growth becomes too bothersome.
How to tell the difference between all the lumps and bumps you feel in your breasts? Dr. Jodie Moffat, a health manager at Cancer Research in the UK, suggests you see a doctor if you notice a change in the shape, feel, or size of your breast. Or if you see nipple discharge or redness of the skin.
- Focus on overall health for optimum breast health
Perhaps the best thing you can do for your breasts’ health is to use common sense when making lifestyle choices.
Exercise and staying active is said to decrease risk factors associated with many diseases. Specifically, when it comes to breast cancer, fat cells are the cells responsible for producing estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been linked to various cancers. So fat burning exercises could be pulling double duty in keeping you healthy.
And the age-old advice on eating your fruits and vegetables has remained unchanged. In fact, recent research only illustrates how essential these foods are for preventing illness and disease. Drinking less alcohol has also been tied to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Overall, commit to following common sense health advice in 2018. And you can feel assured you are taking steps every day to keep yourself in optimum health.
Photo by maf04