Early detection is important because it can lead to a greater chance of survival and a better prognosis for the patient. This article will discuss some tips that can help you detect breast cancer early such as yearly mammograms, monthly self-exams, and more!
1. A Yearly Mammogram
Mammograms are often the best and easiest way to find breast cancer in its early stages. Yearly mammograms can help to detect tumors while they’re still small and easier to treat. Mammograms work by using low doses of x-rays to create images that help detect breast cancer showing both abnormalities and normal tissue on the breasts, which will then need to be further investigated with a biopsy. So, if you are over the age of 40, you need to have a yearly mammogram done to catch breast cancer early on.
2. Monthly Self-Exams
Self-exams are another way you can detect breast cancer early on. You can begin doing self-examinations when you are 20 years old or upon becoming sexually active, whichever comes first. This is because the hormone estrogen has been linked to some cases of breast cancer, and younger people tend to have higher levels of estrogen due to puberty. By performing monthly self-exams, along with monthly breastfeeding if that is possible for you, can help detect tumors at an even earlier stage than mammograms.
3. Regular Lifestyle Changes
Another way you can detect breast cancer early is by making healthy lifestyle changes throughout your daily routine. For instance, if you smoke cigarettes, this means that your rate of survival for any form of cancer will be lower than someone who does not smoke because smoking has been linked to DNA damage and tumors. This means that quitting smoking now might help reduce the risk of getting breast cancer later on in life! Other ways to increase your chances include eating more vegetables and fruits, drinking less alcohol, limiting caffeine intake, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active with regular exercise several times per week at least, and eating soy-based foods like tofu to reduce estrogen levels in the body. These are just some examples of making regular lifestyle changes that can help with early breast cancer detection.
4. Get Tested for the BRCA Gene
If you are interested in getting tested to see if you have a mutated BRCA gene, this is something else you could do to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage. Studies have shown that women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are more likely to develop tumors before age 50 because of their inherited DNA change. This means that getting tested and seeing if you have either one of these mutated genes, might help reduce your chances of developing tumors down the line!
5. Check Your Family History
If your mother, grandmothers, sisters, etc., all had breast cancer at a young age, then it’s likely that you could be at risk of developing tumors. This is why checking their family history to see if the same thing has affected other women in your family can help predict whether or not you are at risk for breast cancer, so it might be good to get tested early!
6. Be Aware of Your Risk Factors
At this point, many people know what their general breast cancer risks are based on their age and gender, but do you know what specific genetic factors may play into your likelihood of developing tumors? Several genetic mutations put someone more at risk for developing certain types of cancers, which include BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutation carriers, carriers of the “Ashkenazi Jewish” breast cancer gene mutation, etc. So, research into your specific genetic factors can help determine whether or not you are at high risk for developing tumors and how often you should be getting checked!
7. Exercise More
Exercise has been shown to reduce the chances of getting breast cancer by as much as thirty percent. This is because physical activity helps lower estrogen levels in the body, which can prevent tumors from forming. After all, tumors tend to grow with higher levels of estrogen present in a woman’s body. By exercising regularly, could significantly reduce your chances of developing tumors that have been linked with hormonal changes due to puberty and pregnancy!
There are many ways to help with early breast cancer detection, which has been linked to a greater chance of survival and a better prognosis for the patient. Keep in mind that yearly mammograms, monthly self-exams, and more are just some of these tips. If you are interested in checking your family history for cancer, getting tested for the BRCA gene mutation, or figuring out any other risk factors that may increase your likelihood of getting tumors down the line, follow these tips that have been proven to work!