Breast Cancer Awareness

October is here and it’s also breast cancer awareness month. I’m sure that this has hit home for many of us. Someone you know, whether a friend or a relative, could have been affected by breast cancer. Many of us have lost loved ones to this cruel and ugly cancer. Simple changes can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer and it all starts with choices. Below is what the experts recommend to prevent breast cancer.

Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding Class Breastfeeding plays a role in breast cancer prevention and the longer you breastfeed the greater the defensive effect! Now as a first time Mom, breastfeeding isn’t always as easy as it looks. It usually starts off good, especially while you are still at the hospital and getting support. But once you get home you might find that you’re not too sure if your baby is getting enough to eat or if your nipples supposed be this sore?

That is why we recommend Moms that plan on nursing take a Breastfeeding Class before your 36th week of pregnancy. Breast Feeding Support GroupThis class will prepare you for the difficult situations that sometimes come with breastfeeding your newborn.

According to a study from the American Cancer Society, for every 12 months of breastfeeding (either with one child or a total period of time for several children), the risk of breast cancer decreases 4.3%. Risk also decreased by 3.4% for each child that was breastfed, compared to women who did not breastfeed at all. So not only are you feeding your child the best of the best but you are decreasing your risk of breast cancer!

Choose safe cosmetics

Beauty products and the beauty industry are virtually unregulated in the US so it is up to us to read the labels of the products we use such as makeup, shampoos, lotions and deodorants. Any product that contains carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals increase our risk for breast cancer. The best way to avoid these chemicals is to use fewer beauty products, and the ones we do use, make sure we know what is in them!

A healthy diet and exercise can prevent breast cancer

Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as a low fat diet can decrease your risk of many types of cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Our Healthy Eating the Easy Way is a no cost class that we offer each month to educate families on how to make the right food choices. Maintaining a healthy weight is also a key factor in prevention of breast cancer so having a healthy diet is the first step to manage a healthy weight. Moderate aerobic exercise at least 3 hours a week plus strength training at least twice a week is what is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Don’t smoke!

Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. Not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and the easiest way to do that is to never start smoking!

Limit your alcohol intake

Studies show that the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you do drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink a day, this includes beer, wine or liquor.

Prevention is power and my hope is that breast cancer or any cancer will soon be a disease that we can overcome.