Breast health can be something we take for granted. After all, they're always there, just hanging around! When it comes to breast health, we are all aware of the need to perform regular self-examinations of our breasts. But what else can we do to look after them? Here are some tips to promote breast health …
1. Supportive Bra
This isn't just important for girls with bigger breasts. Whatever your size, only wear bras that fit properly and support your breasts. It's not always easy to find a good bra at a reasonable price, but don't just buy one because you're desperate. Take your time to find the right one; this will help reduce the backache that can be caused by larger breasts.
2. Home Checks
An obvious contribution towards breast health is to check them regularly. By doing so, you get to know how they feel and what is normal for you; for example, many of us experience discomfort around the time of our period. If you're not sure how to examine your breasts, ask the nurse at your doctor's surgery to show you.
3. If in Doubt … Check It out
If you're ever worried about anything to do with your breasts, get it checked out by a professional. No doctor will think that you're wasting his or her time if it turns out to be no cause for concern. The vast majority of lumps are NOT cancer. It's far better to find out that nothing is wrong than it is to worry yourself unnecessarily or ignore a problem that needs attention.
4. Family History
If you have a close blood relative (mother, sister, grandmother, aunt) who has suffered from breast cancer, make sure that your doctor is aware of this. You may be at higher risk of developing the disease yourself, and require checks earlier than normal. Don?t panic, as it's not guaranteed that there will be a genetic link, but it's wise to be aware of the potential risks.
5. Health Steps
Looking after your breast health also means paying attention to your general health. So, if you do consume alcohol, be sure to drink sensibly. Include plenty of fruit and veggies in your diet and take moderate exercise.
6. New Technology
Mammograms are generally not performed on women under 50, as their breast tissue is denser, meaning that it is harder to detect any problems. However, new technology is becoming available which addresses this. So if younger women need tests, then the options are increasing.
The National Cancer Institute states that post-menopausal women who are obese are at greater risk of breast cancer. Even if you're a long way off reaching the menopause, it pays to maintain a sensible weight, as excess pounds will be harder to shift as you get older. Not only is it good for your breast health, but your general health as well.
Women in Asian countries, who include a lot of soy products in their diet, have a lower rate of breast cancer than in Western countries. It has been noticed that Asian women who move to the West and adopt a more Western diet have a higher rate of breast cancer. So consume products with whole soy such as soy milk and tofu (this is healthier than processed soya, which is commonly used in baked goods and processed products).
There's no need to be alarmed about breast health, but it is important to be aware and look after your breasts. You may not know this, but men can also suffer from breast cancer, so keep an eye on your guy. And always, always, always check out anything that concerns you. I can't emphasise that enough. Too many women worry that they have cancer when a doctor's visit would rule that out – and genuine problems should be detected as early as possible. Do you ever think about your breast health – or just ignore it?
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