Regardless of your age, being familiar with how your breasts look and feel helps to keep them healthy...
15 August 2019| Last updated on 18 August 2019
If you have an understanding of what is normal and what isn’t, you can look out for any changes that could be signs of a bigger problem.
Aside from monitoring your breasts for changes, there are other ways you can keep your breasts at their healthiest. In this article, our friends from Pacific Prime Dubai share their favorite tips for optimal breast health.
1. Move your body
Exercise can help maintain breast health by lowering the amount of estrogen in your body, which is a hormone that has been linked to cancer. Exercising helps reduce the size of fat cells, which causes your body to produce less estrogen. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per week. Any form of cardio will do the trick, such as cycling, swimming or running.
2. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
When it comes to pigging out, you never have to feel guilty about choosing fruits and vegetables. Several studies have suggested that consuming fruits and vegetables may be linked with a reduced risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors. In fact, fruits and veggies may even help curb the growth of cancer cells since they are often rich in carotenoids, which are natural pigments with antioxidant properties. Even though estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers are not the leading type of breast cancer, they are known to be hard to treat.
3. Cut back on the booze
One easy way to reduce your risk of breast cancer is to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even though there is some buzz about the health benefits of booze, research consistently shows that regular alcohol consumption is linked with a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have as little as three alcoholic beverages a week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer, with an estimated 10% increase for each extra drink each day.
While choosing to stop drinking alcohol completely is your best bet, reducing your amount of alcohol drinks to two or fewer per week is enough to make a difference.
4. Get plenty of shut-eye
Increased exposure to light at night suppresses melatonin levels, which is one of the reasons why staying up late is not a healthy habit. Since melatonin may help regulate estrogen, it is beneficial to go to bed early and get seven to eight hours of sleep. What’s more, sleeping longer than the recommended seven to eight hours may also increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
5. Treat yourself to some dark chocolate
If you’re looking for an excuse to indulge in chocolate, look no further. Filled with healthy antioxidants and fats, dark chocolate that has at least 70% cacao may fight fast-growing cancers. This type of chocolate also contains a compound that can cause cancerous cells to die while leaving normal cells alone, giving you all the more reason to enjoy a piece.
6. Manage your stress
Aside from making you feel better, practicing peace could potentially save your life. While stress itself does not cause cancer, stressful situations can cause us to develop unhealthy habits that can lead to cancer, such as smoking, heavy drinking or overeating. There are many different ways you can manage your stress, whether it is practicing meditation in the morning or watching your favorite show to unwind at the end of the day.
7. Become familiar with your body
Even though self-examinations haven’t been found to reduce the number of breast cancer fatalities, knowing the texture and appearance of your breasts is important. Becoming familiar with them makes it easier to notice any changes that you can discuss with your doctor. The best time to do a monthly self-exam is whenever your breasts are not tender or swollen. For many women, the ideal time is about three to five days after their period starts.
8. Get regular screenings
Since all women are different, the following screening guidelines are based on age as well as special circumstances.
20s: According to the ACS, women in their 20s should get a clinical breast exam once every three years. You can simply get your ob/gyn to perform one during your regular visit. Self-exams often play a small role in breast cancer detection, but you can still do them for peace of mind and to spot changes early on.
30s: Women in their 30s should still get a clinical breast exam every three years. Those with a history of breast cancer in their family, especially in a close relative, should consult with their physician about mammograms or MRIs.
40s: Beginning at age 40, the ACS recommends all women to get a yearly mammogram screening. On the contrary, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends most women wait until at least their 50s and get biennial mammograms. It’s best to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and lifestyle choices to determine an ideal schedule for you. In your 40s, clinical breast exams should occur annually.
50s and up: The ACS recommends that you continue to get clinical breast exams and mammograms every year for the rest of your life. While some experts have an upper limit on the age women should continue getting their annual mammogram, the ACS suggests that all women should keep having one every year for the rest of their lives as long as they are reasonably healthy for their age.
Contact Pacific Prime Dubai for expert advice
If you are concerned about your breast health, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Pacific Prime Dubai can help you select the best individual health insurance in Dubai to ensure you get the right plan for your needs and budget. Feel free to contact Pacific Prime Dubai for an obligation-free quote, unbiased insurance advice or a plan comparison today.