Keeping your breasts healthy means you are more likely to avoid developing worrisome lumps, mastitis, cysts, and breast pain. You have a significant role to play in your personal breast health.
Here are some unexpected tips from Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, in Jackson, Mississippi, to help you maintain optimal breast health.
Watch your weight
Being overweight may put you at a greater risk of developing breast cancer, says some research. That is especially true after menopause.
Women who have passed through menopause and are overweight have fat tissue that promotes the production of estrogen. That stimulates the growth and development of breast cancer.
You don’t have to be supermodel skinny to protect your breasts. Follow a balanced and healthy diet, stay hydrated, be physically active, and talk to our team about what is a normal weight for you.
Exercise prevents breast cancer
If you are physically active, you have a greatly reduced risk of developing breast cancer as compared to women who don’t exercise. Why that is true isn’t fully understood, but it’s believed that physical activity keeps a woman’s hormones regulated. These include estrogen and insulin, which can drive breast cancer growth.
Physical activity also helps keep your weight in check. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily and more if you’re able.
Avoid excessive drinking
Stick to just one drink per day. More alcohol than that increases your risk of developing breast cancer.
One drink means a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ½ ounces of hard liquor. And remember, it’s the amount of alcohol that impacts your breast health — not the type. It is best for your health not to drink any alcohol at all.
Take more vitamin D
When you have low levels of vitamin D, you’re at greater risk of developing breast cancer. The sun is the best source of this vitamin because it prompts your body to synthesize it naturally. It’s not always practical to get enough sun exposure, however. Some women live in climates without a lot of natural light and can’t get outside for hours every day. Also, too much sun puts you at risk for skin cancer.
Ask our team to check your vitamin D levels. If they’re low, start taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
Perform regular self-checks
Every woman’s breasts are different. Some are larger, rounder, or more fibrous. Get to know your breasts and then report any changes immediately to your care provider.
Concerning changes include:
- A change in the look or feel of your breast
- A change in the look or feel of the nipple
- Nipple discharge
Changes in feel could mean more roughness or cording in breast tissue. The color of the skin or nipple area may also change if something is up with your breast health.
Taking care of your breasts can go a long way in the early detection of issues like breast cancer. When detected early, you have a much better chance of recovery.
At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, your health is our priority. If you have questions about your breast health or breast surgery, set up an appointment today.