Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Reducing Your Risk

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At Shefit our goal is to focus on female empowerment, overall health,  wellness education while encouraging badassery and confidence (#GirlPower). It would be irresponsible for us to not acknowledge the prevalence of breast cancer among women which is the most common form of cancer found in women in the United States.

The month of October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to bring awareness to this horrible disease. Due to recent scientific advancements we have a better understanding of breast cancer, but there is still plenty of room for improvement… The statistics speak for themselves: 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. This equals 12% of women.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
  • This year, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • About 40,450 women in the United States are expected to die in 2016 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since the 1989.

Statistics derived from breastcancer.org

Some breast cancer risk factors are unchangeable, such as family history, being a female and growing older, however, there are preventable risk factors. According to Mayo Clinic, the following lifestyle changes can help to lower your risk:

Limit your alcohol consumption:

Research shows that even the smallest amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Doctors recommend limiting your alcohol intake to one drink a day, maximum, in an effort to reduce your risk.

Don’t smoke:

We recommend not smoking for numerous reasons, but specifically because studies show that smoking does increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

Manage your weight (respectively):

Being overweight can effect numerous areas of your health, and in this case, can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. This is especially true for women who are currently undergoing menopause, or have previously undergone menopause. If you have reached this point in your life, it is crucial that you are conscious of your overall weight management efforts.

Be conscious of hormone therapy:

Combination hormone therapy has been linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer in women, specifically for women who have been taking hormone therapy for more than three years. If you are taking hormone therapy, it’s recommended that you look into additional options, such as non-hormonal therapies and medications. For further insight, consult your physician.

Avoid sun exposure and radiation:

Recent technological studies have shown that exposure to radiation can increase your risk of breast cancer. Although this speculation is fairly recent, it is still recommended that you avoid radiation-related tests or activities as much as possible.

Keep in mind that if detected early, the 5-year breast cancer survival rate is 100 percent. The number-one way for early detection is to undergo routine self-examinations. For information and tips on how to conduct self-examinations, reference our previous blog post, “Love your Boobs: The Five W’s to Self-Examination”.

For additional healthy lifestyle tips, visit: shefit.com.

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