Each year about 240,000 women receive a breast cancer diagnosis in the United States. Breast health is clearly a topic essential for women of all ages. Yet, many aspects of it remain shrouded in mystery and misconceptions.
While your mother likely shared valuable wisdom about various aspects of life, there are specific nuances of breast health that might not have made it into those conversations. At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, located in Jackson, Mississippi, we want to empower you with accurate information so you can make informed choices about your well-being, including your breast health.
Read on to learn some of the lesser-known aspects about breast health that your mother might not have told you — and didn’t know herself.
1. The density of your breasts matters
When assessing your breast health, there’s more to it than just checking for lumps. A factor that often goes unnoticed is breast density. Dense breasts contain more glandular tissue than fatty tissue, making it more difficult to detect abnormalities through traditional mammograms.
Women with dense breasts should consider additional screening options like 3D mammography or ultrasounds to enhance detection accuracy. Dense breasts often run in families. Ask your mom if she has dense breasts, and if the answer is “yes,” bring this up to your provider.
2. Your lifestyle impacts breast health
Diet, exercise, and environmental factors affect your breast health. Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol intake are lifestyle factors that can reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats supports your overall health. It may reduce your breast cancer risk.
Getting adequate sleep and successfully managing stress are also vital to help regulate hormone levels that play a role in breast health.
3. You need to talk to your doctor about a personalized screening schedule
Breast health is not a one-size-fits-all concept. While your mother's advice might have revolved around annual check-ups, your personal risk factors influence when and how often you should undergo breast health screenings.
She may not have realized it, but having a first-degree relative (like a mother or sister) with breast cancer almost doubles your risk. If your father or brother had breast cancer, it dramatically increases your risk.
A family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations, and personal medical history all impact your screening schedule. Consulting with a medical professional will help determine the most appropriate customized screening plan.
Your mother didn’t withhold information about your breast health — she just may have been unaware of these essential facts that affect your breast cancer risk. At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, in Jackson, Mississippi, we want you to feel informed about all aspects of your health.
If you’re due for a mammogram or have questions about your breast health, call today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.