Must know tips for breast health

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Breast cancer doesn’t only happen to women and men with a history of the disease, and although at risk individuals should take extra special care of their breast health, we could all do with taking these tips into consideration to lower our breast cancer risk.

Here are some tips to keep your breasts, and your body, healthy.

Exam, exam exam – Make sure you do a monthly breast exam in the shower to check for lumps.  It’s also important to go for your regular gynea visit for a proper clinical breast exam.  If you are older or have a family history of breast cancer, an annual mammogram is also a must.

Maintain a healthy body weight – Do your utmost to maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 23 throughout your life. Weight gain and obesity may increase your risk of breast cancer.

Make time for regular exercise - Adopt an active lifestyle and aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic activity at least five days per week.

Watch that tipple - Alcohol is one of the most well established dietary risk factors for breast cancer. In fact, women who consume more than two glasses of alcohol a day are at higher risk than those who avoid alcohol.

Quit smoking – You’ve heard it before and here it is again.The risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, and other health problems increases if you smoke.

Eat more veggies - Consume more green vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries and cherries.

Target motherhood – Try to have your first child before 30. Mothers who breastfeed their babies for six months or longer may have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer.

WATCH OUT FOR THESE BREAST CANCER SIGNS

Early detection saves lives. When breast cancer is detected early, there are more treatment options, less radical surgery required and better chances of complete recovery. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. It is usually single, firm and often painless.

Other tell-tale signs include:

·    Swelling on a part of the breast or underarm

·    A previously protruding nipple that becomes inverted

·    A persistent rash at the nipple or areola

·    Bloodstained discharge from the nipple

·    A change in the size or shape of the breast