Be Breast Self-Aware
Breast Self-Awareness means knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and what’s normal for you body. It also means understanding how your lifestyle factors and family’s health history impact your personal cancer risk.
KNOW YOUR NORMAL
We all have different breasts-different sizes, shapes and densities. Define what is normal for you so that if something changes, you’re equipped to monitor it over time.
FYI: Breast tissue extends up your collarbone around your armpits and into your breastbone.
Signs & Symptoms
*Swelling soreness or rash
*Change in size or shape
*Dimpling or pucking
*Itchy, scaly sore or rash around the nipple
*Nipple that becomes flat or inverted
*Warmth, redness or darkening
*New, persistent pain in one spot
*Bumps that resemble bug bites
*A lump that feels like a frozen pea
*Soft mobile lumps that come and go with your period are common and typically normal.
*If you notice any of these symptoms and they don’t go away after 2-3 weeks, see your doctor.
*breasthealthreminders TEXT Pink to 59227 for monthly text reminder to be breast self-aware.
Assess your risk:
Collect your family health history to help understand where you fall on the risk spectrum. Find out which relatives on both your parents’ sides, if you’re able had cancer of any kind, which types and age at diagnosis. Once you have collected your health history, assess your risk for breast and ovarian cancer of AssessYourRisk.org.
Lifetime Risk of Breast Cancer
Average Risk-12% (no family history)
Increased Risk-20%-30% (family history without a ‘high risk’ gene mutation
High Risk-60%-87% (‘High Risk’ gene mutation in self or close relative
REDUCE YOUR RISK
Basic steps every woman can take to reduce her lifetime risk.
Consider these lifestyle choices:
*Maintain a Healthy Body Weight-a clear link exists between obesity and breast cancer
*Exercise Regularly-exercising for 30 minutes on most days may reduce breast cancer risk by as much as 10-20%
*Consider Childbearing Early-research has shown that women with first pregnancies under 30 have 40-50% lower risk than women who give birth later or never at all.
*Breastfeed if you can-breastfeeding for 1-2 years-not necessarily consecutively-can lower your risk.
*Limit Alcohol-limit alcohol to one drink per day or eliminate it entirely.
*Eat Well, Live Well-fill up on cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, get all your vitamins and avoid red meat.
*Check Your Vitamin D Levels-Vitamin D deficiency can increase your breast cancer risk by 2.5x.
*Don’t Smoke-smoking is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in your women.
If you are at increased or high risk, talk to your doctor about additional risk reduction strategies available to you.
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Breast Health Reminders pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please contact them directly for more information on the program and about breast cancer awareness.