Breast cancer awareness has become more prominent in the past few years, but stopping prevention efforts are often overlooked. While awareness campaigns are inevitable in the fight against breast cancer, realizing and practicing measures for prevention prove to be unheard of.
Breast cancer prevention requires not only raising awareness among individuals, but also practical steps that can become part of normal life. A broad philosophy, including healthy lifestyle habits, frequent check-ups, genetic awareness and environmental considerations, empowers people to take responsibility for their health.
Instead of focusing on how to treat breast cancer, it should focus on prevention, and thus breast cancer will become treatable but preventable in the future.
Dr Namita Pandey – Breast Onco Surgeon, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, Mumbai shares practical steps to prevent breast cancer.
1. Healthy Lifestyle:
Breast cancer prevention starts with a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle with regular workouts, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and a fit body becomes essential. These practices not only promote a general sense of personal well-being but also help prevent breast cancer.
2. Limit alcohol consumption:
There is evidence supporting a direct link between the amount of alcohol consumed and the incidence and increase in the development of breast cancer. This is a practical measure to prevent disease but, don’t drink too much alcohol. While some alcohol may be limited to women, moderation should be a guide.
3. Quit smoking:
The role of tobacco consumption as a cause of breast cancer has also been highlighted. Stopping smoking is a huge step in preventive action. It not only reduces cancer-risk aspects but also improves general well-being. Seek lifelong support from loved ones or professionals to effectively break addiction.
A woman should breastfeed if she has the chance because when one breastfeeds it is protective against breast cancer. Studies have shown that breastfeeding helps reduce the risk, the longer the period, the greater the protection against neoplasia. It is a healthy and nutritious way to ensure baby’s feeding and mother’s well-being.
5. Make breast cancer screening a priority:
Tools such as mammograms, clinical breast exams, and self-exams can detect abnormalities that can aid in early diagnosis. Prevention strategies include two components, both of which are essential to achieve specific goals: physical awareness among health care professionals and timely counseling.
6. Know your family medical history:
Understanding one’s genetic makeup becomes important in approaching breast cancer risk. Genetic counseling and testing can identify mutations that are inherited, including mutations that carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Armed with this information, people can spontaneously take steps such as further surveillance activities or pre-emptive surgical intervention.
7. Environmental Factors:
Looking at the interplay of factors that contribute to breast cancer is also an emerging concept in prevention. Limiting the amount of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in certain types of plastics and household products and being cautious about carcinogens can be an integral prevention mechanism.
8. Stress Management:
Chronic stress has also been linked to a number of health conditions including a higher chance of developing cancer. Efforts to incorporate one or more popular stress management techniques, such as communication and meditation, yoga, or mindfulness practices into daily life have proven effective. These practices not only relieve stress, but also lead to factors that enrich overall mental and emotional well-being.