Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is a great time to refresh your memory about the risks of breast cancer and how to take the best care of your breasts. Both women and men can get breast cancer, but there is a one in eight chance that the average woman in the U.S. will develop this type of cancer in her lifetime.
Here’s what you can do now to take a natural approach to breast health and prevent breast-related issues in the future.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
One of the best things you can do for your breast health is to check your breasts regularly for any lumps or changes in size, shape, or appearance. Anything that looks or feels different from the surrounding area should be noted and monitored.
Dimpling, inverted nipples, flaking skin, peeling, and redness are all signs to keep an eye out for as you check your breasts. Visit a trusted medical professional if you notice anything abnormal right away.
Breast Cancer Risks
There is a genetic component to breast cancer since this condition is passed through generations of families. Doctors sometimes recommend blood tests or gene tests if you have a history of breast cancer in the family.
Your risk of developing this kind of condition increases as you get older, if you are obese, and if you have been exposed to an excess of radiation. Women who have never been pregnant and who take certain hormone therapy medications to treat menopause symptoms may have increased risks as well.
Preventing Breast Cancer
Breast cancer screenings can detect many issues early-on, so discuss exams and tests with your doctor. To reduce your risks, it is recommended to only drink alcohol in moderation and exercise for at least half an hour each day. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding cigarettes can reduce your risks too, as well as breastfeeding if you’re a new mom and avoiding hormone-altering drugs as much possible.
Natural Foods for Breast Health
There are certain foods that you can incorporate into your diet to support natural breast health. Many medical professionals recommend eating a Mediterranean diet with plant-based foods, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil to support breast health. Consider eating fish instead of red meat for more meals to benefit your overall health too.
Some foods to try more of in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and all throughout the year) include walnuts, plums, peaches, broccoli, salmon, olive oil, parsley, and lentils. All of these foods have been studied for their related benefits and had promising results. Studies have also suggested that organic produce is a better choice than foods sprayed with pesticides when you’re looking to reduce your cancer risks.