Besides lung cancer, breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Though the mortality rate for breast cancer has been decreasing since the 1990’s because of advancements in treatments, early detection and increased awareness, the numbers are still jarring. Just last year, an estimated 39,970 deaths (both male and female) were recorded in the USA alone.
There are a number of preventive measures to keep ourselves and our loved ones cancer-free, and awareness is the first step. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but while most people have already been made aware of this fatal disease, they forget to take the next steps to ensure their health and encourage or help others to do the same. Reduce the risk of having breast cancer by following these four important pieces of advice:
• Exercise daily. Because many studies have shown that exercise is a breast-healthy habit, The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Your exercise routine may range from moderate to intense activity, or a combination of both. Just make sure you don’t cram it all into a day’s worth of workout or you’ll be in danger of straining yourself instead.
• Make weight-watching a habit. It’s been found out that being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause and for women who gain weight later in life. If you’re currently overweight, try shedding some pounds by exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Meanwhile, if you’re already at a healthy weight, do your best to maintain it.
• Cut down on alcohol intake. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than one drink per day for women (and two a day for men), as studies showed that women who have two or more alcoholic drinks a day have about 1½ times the risk of having breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink at all. The next time you go on that girls’ night out, take note! It’s okay to have a little fun every now and then, but you should always be careful of your health, too.
• Avoid hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be useful to cure night sweats and hot flashes, but instead of actually helping women get through these symptoms for menopause, researchers found out that post-menopausal women who took a combination of estrogen and progestin were more likely to develop breast cancer. Before using HRT, it’s best to consult a doctor about options to control your menopause symptoms just in case they could provide you with safer alternatives.
Remember that the fight against breast cancer doesn’t stop with awareness. Take the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy, and encourage your family members as well as your friends to do it too.
Yeager Insurance & Financial Services is an independent insurance and financial services agency serving West Virginia. To learn more about how we can serve your insurance and financial needs, please contact us at (304) 757-3900. You may also use this site to submit requests for insurance quotes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.