Written by: Melanie Legend @melanie.legend
It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is many of us have either had a family member, neighbour, friend, or community member affected. On the bright side, we have a lot of tools for early detection and preventative lifestyle factors that can help women reduce their personal risk. Find out what you can be below:
How to Test At Home:
Self-testing can help increase the likelihood of early detection and help women feel more empowered when it comes to their health.
Try to do this once a month, 2-3 days after your period.
Here’s how you do one:
- Stand in front of the mirror and observe the symmetry of your breasts
- Are they at the same level horizontally?
- Do they have the same feel/texture?
- If there any difference in shape, colour or feel?
- Now raise your arms over your head and look for the same changes.
- Does anything change?
- Lying down on your back use your finger pads to feel around your breast. Start at the lower edge of the breast towards the midline and move your finger in a circular motion. Continue this until you’ve gone completely vertically up to the upper edge of the breast. Continue this pattern until you’ve reached the outside of the breast.
- Do you notice any abnormal lumps?
- Are these lumps moveable? Are they firm?
Do not panic if you feel any lump in the breast tissue. Most women have small lumps that are not worrisome.
So When Do You Go to The Doctor?
- Changes to the breast tissue that may include dimpling, puckering, redness, soreness, or swelling
- Abnormal nipple discharge
- Changes in the breast tissue (growth of lumps, etc.)
- The onset of weight loss (abnormal or unexplained amounts)
It never hurts to make a trip to your doctor if you feel like something isn’t right. Trust yourself and use your judgement and do your part to feel and be aware of what your “normal” is. The first step is awareness.
Preventative Measures & Lifestyle Changes:
When it comes to preventative health, we have so many options. Here are some lifestyle options you can implement today for overall better health.
- Healthy diet
- No/reduce smoking
- Limit alcohol
- Environmental factors
A healthy diet refers to a balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This can be achieved by integrating a whole foods diet, rich in vegetables, fruits & proteins! Protein is a top nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. If you are struggling to get your daily protein intake, PROFI protein powder provides a quick & delicious option for anyone trying to stay healthy!
Exercise not only helps in the prevention of breast cancer but has also been linked to benefits in cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels and overall quality of life. It is encouraged that an individual exercises 4-5 times a week for at least 30 mins. Are you getting your daily required exercise?
What can you do for primary prevention against breast cancer?
- Conduct an at-home breast examination every month if possible, minimum, every 6 months.
- If changes appear don’t be afraid to check in with your doctor for advice
- If you are over 40, it’s your turn for a mammogram. Breast cancer doesn’t care about age.
- Do what you can by making sure you are eating a healthy/well-balanced diet and exercising daily
- Stay educated & informed!
Don’t forget to share this post with anyone else you think might benefit! (psst all women) We can help women feel more confident and in charge of their health by sharing important information like this!