Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. It can affect anyone, but some risk factors make you more likely to develop the condition. If you’re concerned about breast health, it’s essential to know why it happens and how you can take steps to prevent it from happening. Here are some tips you can be aware of for maintaining a healthy breast.
Familiarize With Your Breasts
Familiarize yourself with the way your breasts usually feel. When you have a good idea of what they look like, feel and move, you might begin to notice if anything changes. The American Cancer Society recommends that women check their breasts monthly for size, shape, or texture changes. If you see something that doesn’t look or feel normal, like hardness, get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible. It could be nothing, but it could also be something serious.
Get a Mammogram
Mammograms are great. They can help you catch breast cancer early, which is the best treatment. If you have a family history of breast cancer, let your OB/GYN know. Talk with an oncologist about how often you should get screened for abnormalities. Your doctor can also tell you if any other tests are proper for you, like ultrasounds or MRI scans to check for possible tumors before they become malignant.
Mammograms aren’t painful, and they don’t hurt. They involve being compressed between two plates while radiation shoots through your chest cavity from a machine. The compression only lasts 30 seconds at most per breast and feels like nothing more than having someone putting pressure. Furthermore, because mammography uses low doses of radiation compared to other X-ray procedures such as CT scans, some doctors consider them much safer.
Take Iodine Supplements for Fibrocystic Breasts
If you have fibrocystic breasts, iodine supplements may help. While some studies suggest that iodine does not benefit the general population, it may help those at risk.
When iodine is taken by mouth in the form of Lugol’s solution, it is considered one of the best iodine for fibrocystic breasts as an effective base of the mixture. It moves into the breast tissue and acts as an antioxidant to help prevent damage from free radicals. Iodine also helps to maintain healthy levels of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone in women. These hormones regulate how your breasts grow and change during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Thus, taking them can prevent them from forming cysts.
Regular Doctor Visits
There’s no substitute for regular doctor visits when it comes to maintaining your health and keeping on top of your physical well-being. The more often you see a doctor, the more likely you will catch any problems before they get out of hand.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women start having annual checkups at age 20 and continue until age 70. After that, women need extra care based on their medical history and risk factors. See your primary care physician at least once yearly and schedule routine screenings such as mammograms every two years starting at age 40 or 45.
To ensure that these tests are performed promptly with minimal hassle for others in your life who might need time off work, schedule their around significant holidays. So that people can be there with you during those times instead of taking days off from their jobs.
Consume Iodine-Rich Foods
While iodine is an essential mineral for the body, it can also be beneficial in maintaining healthy breasts. You will increase your vital nutrient intake when you consume iodine-rich foods like seaweed and seafood. In addition, iodine helps treat fibrocystic breast disease, an abnormal condition that causes swelling and pain in one or both breasts. A person consuming large amounts of iodine for several months or more can decrease fibroadenoma development by up to 83%.
The recommended daily intake for adults is 150 micrograms per day. However, pregnant women should consume 250 micrograms per day until breastfeeding begins. After that, they can gradually reduce their intake to 150 micrograms per day due to increased needs from their baby’s growth process.
Say No to Caffeine
A common cause of breast pain is caffeine, which can worsen fibrocystic breast disease. Caffeine can also increase your risk of developing breast cancer and make existing tumors more aggressive. It is because caffeine causes your body to produce extra estrogen and testosterone. These hormones add up to feed the growth of cancer cells.
Coffee, tea, soda, and other caffeinated beverages all contain caffeine. The average American consumes about 300 milligrams daily, about the same amount in one cup of coffee. Try eliminating all caffeine sources from your diet. You can do it for at least six weeks to see if there’s an improvement in symptoms before adding it back again.
Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, and it can also help you manage your fibrocystic breasts. For example, a study published in the International Breast Journal found that women who exercised for at least 30 minutes three times a week had less breast pain than those who didn’t.
Exercise can also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight which is essential as heavy breasts are linked to fibrocystic changes. In addition, exercising will boost your mood, reduce stress and improve sleep quality, supporting hormonal balance and keeping them in check. Exercise also improves energy levels so that you feel stronger throughout the day.
Avoid Toxic Chemicals
We’re not chemists, but we know enough to realize that some chemicals can harm human health. So if you can avoid exposure to these chemicals as much as possible, your breasts will thank you later.
One of the best ways to do this is by cleaning up your diet. Avoiding artificial sweeteners and preservatives is a great start, but don’t forget about the daily household products. Many contain toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer development. Switching out your cleaning products with natural alternatives may seem daunting at first. Still, most natural brands are affordable and easy enough for anyone comfortable with simple DIY projects around their home.
You Are in Charge of Your Breast Health
As a woman, you need to keep tabs on what is going on with your body. Do not wait until something feels wrong before getting an exam done by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Instead, communicate regularly with professionals about any symptoms that make themselves known. They can advise you on how best to proceed with treatment options. These treatment options may include surgery, medication, or preventive measures such as lifestyle changes or vitamin supplements. We hope this article has given you some helpful tips for starting on the right foot.