Breast cancer can affect women with no risk factors. Keep your breasts in optimum health for life with these simple tips from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore today, with one out of 13 women likely to be afflicted by it.
Breast cancer often happens in women with no risk factors, but you can help yourself by adopting the following habits all year long for optimum breast health:
observe, self-examine, screen.
Although most lifestyle factors influence risk of breast cancer only to a minor extent, here are some tips to keep your breasts and your body healthy.
7 Tips for lifelong breast health
Maintain a healthy body weight
Maintain a BMI 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. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic activity at least five days per week.
Minimise or avoid alcohol
Alcohol is one of the most well established dietary risk factor for breast cancer. Women who consume more than two glasses of alcohol a day are at higher risk.
Eat more veggies
Consume more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries and cherries.
Target 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.
Early detection is your best protection
Breast self-examination is recomended once a month about 1 week from the first day of menses. For women who no longer menstruate, choosing a date each month is an easy way to remember. Be sure to notify your doctor any breast changes such as redness, swelling, presence of a lump, skin changes or discharge from the nipple. For how to perform breast self-examination, click
between the ages of 40 to 50: a mammogram
every year after consultation with their doctor
above the age of 50: a mammogram
once every two years
Quit smoking (if you haven't)
The risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, and other health problems increases if you smoke.
Watch 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.
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; and
A change in the size or shape of the breast
A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling
Check out other articles on breast cancer:
Breast Cancer Screening: Screen for Life
Breast Cancer: Symptoms and Risk Factors
Breast Cancer Treatment Options
Does Obesity Increase Breast Cancer Risk?
What's Next After an Abnormal Mammogram?
What Is Preventive Mastectomy?
8 Top Cancer-Fighting Foods
How a Husband Can Support His Wife If She Has Breast Cancer