Healthy breast tissue is a vital component to general human health for people regardless of their biological sex. However, biological women do need to be even more aware of their breast health. Due to their cyclical exposure to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, biological women are far more likely to develop breast cancer during their lifetime. In fact, only 1% of all breast cancer cases occur in biological men. Let’s look at ways to maintain breast health.
Ways to Maintain Breast Health
Breast health isn’t that different from any other aspect of your health. You will thrive when you manage your stress, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat nutritionally-balanced meals, and exercise a few days a week. With that said, there are specific things you can do within those categories to be even kinder to your breasts. These are our top suggestions for breast cancer prevention in Houston.
Focus on Nutrition, Not Diet
If you are obese, you have a much higher chance of developing breast cancer. However, that doesn’t mean you need to do a crash diet today. Beautiful bodies exist along a massive spectrum, and you just need a little help to get yours to a point where your body is healthy from a biological standpoint.
Incorporate Some Delicious Antioxidants
Antioxidants are found in some truly delicious foods. Dark chocolate and blueberries are both decent sources of antioxidants as are most green vegetables and squash. They add a lot of flavor to your meals, while also offering some protection against the free radicals associated with cancer.
Don’t Forget the Leafy Greens
Folate isn’t just important for pregnant women. Folate helps your body to grow and repair cells. This particular trick is associated with decreased cancer risks. Fortunately, folate can be found in fortified foods, leafy greens, beans, and many seeds.
Whole Grains Are Your Friend
Scientific evidence suggests that the regular consumption of whole grains can help to reduce the risk of hormonally-dependent cancers. The good news is we now have a lot better access to whole grain forms of bread, pasta, etc.
Take a Multivitamin if Necessary
Sometimes we struggle to eat well. If you find that you’re not getting enough antioxidants, Vitamin D, or folate regularly, then you should consider using a multivitamin to help pick up the slack. If you have specific health concerns, talk to your doctor about the right vitamin mix for you.
Exercise in Ways That Work for You
Exercise is vital to our general well-being from a physical and mental perspective. Unfortunately, many of us mistakenly assume that only certain types of exercise are ‘good enough.’ All you need to do is find something that increases your heart rate a couple of hours a week. That can be a long walk, a dance class, or a new VR game.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
We live in a society where drinking is a normal social activity. Unfortunately, the average biological woman really cannot drink more than one drink per day without statistically increasing their risk of developing cancer.
Consider Breastfeeding if You Have an Infant
Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed, but we are talking about breast health. There is evidence to suggest that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Keep in mind, the difference is very small, so it should not be a consideration if breastfeeding isn’t an option for you for whatever reason.
Do Regular Self-Examinations
Getting to know your own breasts through regular self-examinations is key if you are going to be able to tell when something isn’t quite right. Once a month you should do a self-exam spanning from under the armpit to across the chest. Many women do these exams standing and laying down to properly examine all of their breast tissue.
Don’t Skip Mammograms
Your breast cancer surgeon in Houston wants you to have a long and happy life, and mammograms are a great way to help with that goal. These exams are uncomfortable and anxiety inducing for many, but it is the most effective tool we have for catching cancer early.