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.
Breast health is every woman’s responsibility.
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.
6 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.
- Quit smoking
The risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, and other health problems increases if you smoke.
- Eat more veggies
Consume more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries and cherries.
- Target motherhood
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.
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; and
- A change in the size or shape of the breast