Decreasing Your Risk of Breast Cancer

dr wearing lab coatSome risk factors for breast cancer are beyond your control (for example, being female or getting older). Even as great strides  continue to be made in early detection and treatment methods, there are some steps you can take to help mitigate your risk of breast cancer.

  • If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, quitting can reduce your risk for breast cancer (and many other serious health problems). For those diagnosed with breast cancer, studies show that patients who quit smoking may get added benefits from chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Control your weight and be physically active. One of the few modifiable risk factors is a rise in a woman’s body mass index, which can increase her risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Watch what you eat. The American Cancer Society suggests you limit consumption of red meat to two meals per week and avoid exposure to processed meats like bacon, sausage, luncheon meats, or hot dogs as much as possible.
  • If you’re of child-bearing age, breast feed. The longer you breast feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit hormone therapy if possible, especially combination hormone therapy that lasts more than three to five years. If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, discuss whether you might benefit from non-hormonal options with your physician.  If you decide hormones are right for you, ask if you are on the lowest dose possible to achieve positive results.

Our board-certified radiologists at Lake Medical Imaging recommend having a baseline mammogram at age 40 (if no family history of breast cancer or other risk factors are present) and then having a screening mammogram annually. When cancer is detected sooner rather than later, patients not only have a better chance of survival, but length of treatment and quality of life are also greatly improved.

Lake Medical Imaging, in partnership with Central Florida Health Alliance, is a full-service diagnostic imaging practice encompassing five state-of-the-art imaging centers in The Villages and Leesburg. Our dedication to the health of our patients has earned us the American College of Radiology’s Breast Imaging Center of Excellence designation. All breast imaging modalities are currently offered, including 3D mammography; call us today at (352) 365-0777 to schedule an appointment.

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