There is a lot of information floating around about breast health, but it can be difficult to know what is true and what isn’t. A lot of people don’t know exactly when to begin screening for breast cancer or how to avoid common risks that could lead to developing breast cancer. In this guide, we will cover the basics of breast health from its early stages through treatment options.
The Breasts: A Woman’s Body Part Subject to Much Scrutiny
When you think about it, breasts are one of the most important parts of a woman’s body. They’re what give her life and nourishment as a baby and then as an adult. They also serve as a symbol for sexuality, femininity, motherhood, and fertility.
But while they might be very important to us (women), they can also cause us a lot of pain and discomfort if we don’t take care of them properly—which is why breast health awareness is so important!
"Breast awareness month," which happens every October aims to raise public awareness about breast cancer prevention by encouraging women over 40 years old to get regular mammograms (x-rays) every year. This can help catch lumps early on before they turn into something more serious like cancerous tumors that spread throughout your body via the lymph nodes or blood vessels.
Why Breast Health Is Important
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the second leading cause of death. It can be prevented, treated and cured if it is found early.
It's important to know what you can do to protect yourself from breast cancer. The more you know about breast health, the more likely you are to catch any problems early on before they develop into something serious.
How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?
There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer. The most important is to avoid known risk factors for the disease, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol intake. Other methods include avoiding known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in food and water, opting for a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and exercise, avoiding sun exposure during peak hours, limiting exposure to radiation sources like X-rays or tanning beds as much as possible.
You should also be aware that certain medications may increase your chances of developing breast cancer. For example:
● Some birth control pills contain estrogen hormones which can stimulate growths in the breasts; if you take these types of pills, it's important not only choose one with low levels of these hormones but also take them correctly (so they don't go off course).
● Certain medications used after surgery can cause patients' cells to grow more quickly than normal—and this could lead them down a path towards developing cancerous tumors themselves!
What Are the Early Signs of Breast Cancer?
The early signs of breast cancer are more subtle than you may think. Here are some of them:
● A breast lump or thickening that is painless and not moving around within the breast tissue. If it moves, it's probably an inflammation or cyst.
● Discharge from the nipple that's bloody or watery, foul-smelling, or coming from only one nipple (this can also be a symptom of ductal carcinoma in situ).
● Changes in size and shape of the breasts (usually bigger) without any other known cause for it.
● Skin changes such as dimpling, puckering, or scaling on your nipples.
● Fatigue lasting longer than two weeks with no medical explanation for it; weight loss without medical explanation; frequent night sweats – all could indicate an underlying health issue like cancer.
The Importance of Early Detection
The most common type of cancer in women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. That's why early detection is so important.
The best tool we have to detect breast cancer early is a mammogram, but some people still do not feel comfortable with this procedure. If you're one of them and would rather wait until there are more advanced methods for detecting cancer, keep reading!
Mammograms are the best tool we have to detect breast cancer early. They’re safe and effective, and they can detect breast cancer when it is small and easier to treat. Mammograms are recommended every 1-2 years for women over 40.
If you don’t want a mammogram or aren't able to get one right now, you don’t have to wait until your next annual exam! You can still schedule a screening with your doctor or another trusted healthcare provider at any time.
What Are Some Tips for Maintaining Breast Health?
There are a few simple steps you can take to help maintain breast health:
Exercise is an excellent way to keep your mind and body healthy. It also helps combat stress, which is known to be a risk factor for breast cancer.
A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables ensures that your body has all the nutrients it needs for good health. Foods high in fat or processed sugars should be avoided, as they can increase your chances of developing breast cancer later in life.
Avoid smoking cigarettes or using other forms of tobacco (including chewing tobacco).
Practice moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases your risk of developing certain types of cancers such as those affecting the liver or colon, but there isn't enough evidence yet to suggest that moderate drinking causes any harm.
Regular self-exams can help detect changes in early stages before they become dangerous and lead doctors to find them during regular examinations at their annual checkup. * Mammograms are essential because they are able to detect tumors at an earlier stage while they're still small enough for treatment options like surgery or radiation therapy."
While this article has only scratched the surface of breast health, we hope it has helped you gain new knowledge and a better understanding of how important it is to take care of your breasts. We also hope that reading through these tips will encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor if there are any signs or symptoms that seem unusual. Don’t have insurance? Maryland Free Mammograms offers mammograms at no cost to you.