According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, making it the most common type of cancer among women after skin cancer. However, cancer isn’t only health condition that affects women’s breasts.
Here are some of the most common breast concerns and tips for prevention and natural breast health.
Issues with the breasts can be cancerous or noncancerous; however, most are noncancerous and do not require extensive treatment. A woman’s breasts may become painful, develop lumps, change in color or texture, or produce unusual discharge from the nipple. Breasts can become mildly sore or swollen before a woman gets her period, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
However, it’s important to see a doctor if you notice a lump that makes one breast feel significantly different from the other one, if pain or swelling doesn’t go away, or if blood is discharged from the nipple. Cysts, benign lumps, and an infection called mastitis, are other common breast-related issues that women experience.
Natural Care for Your Breasts
Not surprisingly, how you take care of your general health also affects breast health. Fortunately, keeping your breasts healthy and disease-free does not typically require taking pharmaceutical drugs or any medical procedures.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
There are strong connections between obesity and cancer, and cancer may spread throughout the body once it occurs in the breasts. Therefore, keeping your weight in check is a good way to protect your breasts as well. This is especially important for women after menopause because the production of estrogen in fat tissue is a factor in breast cancer growth and progression.
Keep Up with Screenings
Preventative action is one of the best ways to preserve the health of your breasts for the long-term. Whether it’s a mammogram, self-breast exam, or other breast screening, talk with your doctor about which breast-related checkups are right for you.
Eat a Balanced Diet
You can support your breasts and overall health by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein every day. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fish, walnuts, broccoli, and watermelon are all healthy foods to incorporate into your diet. Other foods to eat as part of a balanced diet include dark chocolate and grapes.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Among the many vitamins that support breast health, vitamin D is particularly important. Research has shown that breast cancer survivors with low levels of vitamin D may have greater risks of the cancer coming back. Sources of vitamin D include natural sunlight, fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milk fortified with vitamin D.
Reduce Exposure to Chemicals and Toxins
As much as possible, try to limit your exposure to chemicals and toxins both inside the home and outside of it. Chemical cleaning products and environmental toxins may make you more susceptible to disease and less able to fight off breast-related conditions.
Get at Least 30 Minutes of Exercise Daily
By being at least a little active each day, you can reduce your breast cancer risk and also take control of your goal of maintaining a healthy weight. Not only that, but exercise also helps you maintain your bone mass and improve your immune system functioning to fight off diseases.