October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The annual campaign raises awareness of breast cancer risks and the value of screening and early detection. Throughout this month, Healthy Lives will focus on healthy lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of breast cancer, signs and symptoms, eating tips and support groups for cancer survivors in a four-part series.
Adopting healthy habits can be physically and mentally beneficial at any age for any population. Leading a healthy lifestyle is intended to protect your overall health and may help to reduce your risk of breast cancer, as well as other cancers.
Here are five ways to reduce your cancer risk:
Early Detection and Screening
Early detection means identifying the cancer before it has the opportunity to spread and provides the greatest chance for successful management or treatment. Give your breast regular and thorough exams to check for any changes in size, shape and tenderness. Also visit your OB/GYN for an annual well-woman exam.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Aim to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose colorful veggies and leafy greens which provide plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is one the leading risk factors for breast cancer, as well as uterine, colon, esophageal, and kidney cancers. Participating in regular exercise may lower the risk of breast cancer mortality.
Limit Alcohol Intake and Quit Smoking
The American Cancer Society recommends limiting alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Although it can be difficult, cessation of smoking provides many health benefits, not limited to cancer risk and mortality.
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