As the world’s most prevalent form of cancer, breast cancer accounted for about 12.5% of all cancer cases diagnosed in 2020. It is the second most common cancer in women, with the odds of 1 in 8 women developing the disease at some point in their lives. However, consulting a women’s physician, implementing preventive measures, and making lifestyle modifications can help improve these odds drastically.
Breast Cancer Prevention with the Help of a Women’s Physician
Preventing breast cancer is a term for the measures taken to reduce the risk of developing the condition. There are many approaches to breast cancer prevention, including lifestyle modifications, breast cancer screening, and many others. With the help of your women’s physician, which could be a primary care doctor, gynecologist, or obstetrician, the most suitable preventative approaches can be taken to lower your risk of breast cancer. A women’s health specialist understands diseases that are specific to women. They know how to best lower your risks and treat conditions if they develop.
Primary prevention of breast cancer mainly involves avoiding risk factors and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The most common and effective breast cancer prevention approaches include the following. Talk to your women’s health physician about which approaches are best suited for you.
Keeping a Healthy Weight
Obesity can cause increased estrogen levels, causing an overall hormonal imbalance, which can increase the risk for breast cancer. Also, studies have shown a close relationship between obesity and the development of other types of cancers, including ovary, colon, gallbladder, and liver.
Avoiding a Sedentary Lifestyle
Regular exercise can help prevent breast cancer. A recent study showed a 12% decrease in the risk of developing breast cancer in women with a physically active lifestyle. This is in addition to its positive effects on overall physical and mental health, and other benefits like losing weight.
Exposure to ionizing radiation can increase the risk for multiple cancers. Unnecessary exposure to high levels of radiation with repeated X-ray scans for high-risk groups can be responsible for some cases of breast cancer development. Only go to experienced and reputable diagnostic centers to get your imagining done. This reduces your risk of side effects and potential risks.
Limiting Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking is one of the most common factors impacting cancer development. Research shows an increased risk of 24% for breast cancer in smokers. An increase in risk is also associated with alcohol consumption.
Avoiding Hormonal Therapy
Usage of combined estrogen and progesterone medications after menopause is closely related to an increased risk of breast cancer development. The use of some contraceptive pills may also increase risk. However, this is only during active use, which gradually decreases after contraceptive pills are stopped.
A couple of FDA-approved medications that work on regulating the function of estrogen receptors have been proven to have an effect in preventing breast cancer. These medications include:
- Tamoxifen – is the first medication to be approved by the FDA as a preventive treatment for breast cancer in pre- and post-menopausal women.
- Raloxifene – originally approved by the FDA as a treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis; a study of its effectiveness in preventing breast cancer showed results similar to that of tamoxifen, with a 38% less risk of thromboembolic events and uterine cancers.
Regular screening for breast cancer is one of the most beneficial ways to prevent breast cancer development. It can help detect breast cancer in its early stages, which can help your physician set up a treatment plan to prevent the progression of cancer.
This is the screening method of choice for breast cancer detection. It usually provides a 2D image of the breast tissue. However, with technological advancements, 3D mammography offers more detailed images of breast tissue.
Preventative Healthcare for Women in Bronx, New York
At Starling Diagnostics, we understand the importance of not only preventing breast cancer but diagnosing and treating it quickly in the unfortunate situation that it develops. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic services, including services specific to women’s health issues. If you are interested in learning more about lowering your risk for breast cancer, give our staff a call at (718) 319-1610. You can also request an appointment online.