October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and breast cancer has become an important topic for moms out there today. While it used to be known as a disease that hit older women, often those past menopause, women are being diagnosed with this tragic disease at younger and younger ages today. In fact, more than 60,000 women still of childbearing age within the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 alone. From the statistics in 2001, this number was up more than 40%, showing a scary trend for younger moms today. Recently there have been several well known stars, still of childbearing age who have battled this disease, including Maura Tierney from the television show ER, singer Melissa Etheridge, singer Anastacia, and actress Christina Applegate.
This is no longer a topic that moms can ignore! It’s time that moms start paying attention to this epidemic among younger women today. National Breast Cancer Month is a time to increase awareness about breast cancer and to raise money for curing and preventing this disease, and what better time to get informed about this topic. Moms owe it to their young children to learn as much as possible about breast cancer, prevention, detection, and ways to help fight this disease and finally find a cure.
What You Can Do to Prevent Breast Cancer
Of course, the best defense for moms today is to work on preventing breast cancer in the first place. Here are some general tips for prevention that you need to start incorporating into your life today. Make sure you check with your health care professional.
Tip #1 – Keep Your Body Weight at a Healthy Level
One of the best things you can do to prevent breast cancer as a mom is to keep your body weight at a healthy level. Studies show that gaining weight and having a BMI that is too high can increase your risk of developing this disease. Stay on top of your weight to minimize your risk as much as possible.
Tip #2 – Exercise on a Regular Basis
Start exercising on a regular basis. There are many studies that show that exercise on a regular basis can lower your risk. Simply 30 minutes 4-5 days a week can be enough to reduce the risk.
Tip #3 – Avoid Alcohol
Avoid it altogether if you want to work to prevent breast cancer. There are some studies that show that you can raise your risk of this type of cancer by more than 20% if you drink more than one alcoholic drink each day.
Tip #4 – Avoid Prescription Estrogens if Possible
If possible, avoid prescription estrogens. Estrogen can play a big role in breast cancer development. Avoid the prescription versions and avoid compounds that may be “estrogen like,” such as industrial chemicals and pesticides.
Tip #5 – Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Plenty of fruits and veggies can help you prevent breast cancer too. No doubt you’re trying to get your kids to eat them, so add plenty to your plate too. Some of the best fruits and veggies to eat to prevent this cancer include tomatoes, berries, citrus, broccoli, leafy greens, carrots, and cabbage.
Tip #6 – Consider a Low Dose Aspirin
Some new studies recently have found that taking a low dose of aspirin on a daily basis can help in the prevention of breast cancer. You can purchase low dose aspirin that is enough to help you prevent the disease without taking too much aspirin.
Breast Cancer Detection – What You Need to Know
Of course, you can take all measures to prevent this disease and sometimes it will occur anyway, especially since genetics have such a big part to play. This is why breast cancer detection becomes so important. You need to maintain breast health and make sure that changes are monitored so any cancer can be found as quickly as possible.
One of the detection tools most often used today is a mammogram. In fact, women over 40 should begin having mammograms every few years. However, if you are at high risk for breast cancer, you may need to start having mammograms at an earlier age. Often this test can help to find lumps before you even would find them, and the earlier you catch the cancer, the more likely it can be successfully treated.
Clinical breast exams are important as well. When you have your yearly gynecological exam, your gynecologist should be performing a clinical breast exam. If you have any concerns or questions, this is a good time to ask them.
Many doctors suggest that women do monthly breast exams as well, although today there is a bit of controversy over this. While many still insist that monthly exams are important for discovering any changes early, other physicians feel that simply being aware of any changes is the better course. Talk to your doctor to find out which option may work the best for you.
Fighting the Disease and Finding a Cure
Whether you end up fighting cancer as a mom, you have a family member or friend who is fighting it, or you just want to help join in the fight, there are a variety of ways that you can help. There are many foundations that provide ways that you can fight breast cancer and work to find a cure. The American Cancer Society website