Medically Reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD
Surviving breast cancer starts with spotting it early by keeping a close eye out for a new breast lump, pain or swelling in the breast (especially in the nipple) or nipple discharge other than milk.
Although the actual cause of breast cancer isn’t yet known, there are a number of healthy habits that can help prevent it:
- Regular exercise. Most jobs involve a great deal of sitting and little physical activity.
- Try 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week – enough to make you perspire and breathe header.
- The more exercise the better. Women, who intensely exercise more than 10 hours a week, cut their risk by 30%.
- Control Your Weight. Simply being overweight – not even obese – can raise your risk.
- Breast cancer cells are stimulated by estrogen. In pre-menopausal women estrogen is produced in a woman’s ovaries and – more importantly – in their fatty tissue.
- So, the more fat, the higher the risk of breast cancer.
- One study said that a breast cancer survivor, who is obese, is raising her risk of recurring cancer by 30%.
- Get Enough of Sleep. Less than 6 hours of sleep a night doubles the risk of aggressive breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
- Limit Alcohol. More than 3 to 5 drinks a week increases risk.
- Limit Hormone Replacement Therapy after Menopause.
- Breastfeed if you can.
Obviously, there is no way to guarantee that you will not get breast cancer — even if you follow all these tips.
The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection. And that starts with an annual mammogram, beginning at age 40.
To schedule your mammogram at McLeod Health in Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Loris, or North Myrtle Beach, call 843-777-2095.
Have a question about cancer? Ask a specialist.
Sources include: McLeod Health, National Cancer Institute, Case Western Reserve University, London Bridge Hospital, British Medical Journal, American Cancer Society