October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What are the Facts?
For many women, having a mammogram is one of the most daunting things they’ll do all year. And understandably so; according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Service, 1 in 8 women could likely develop the disease. It’s also estimated that in 2019, more than 265,000 new diagnoses were made.
But despite the statistics, there’s a lot to be hopeful for. According to Dr. Leslie Ford with the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention, medical science is “starting to understand the molecular and genetic basis of tumors, which is helping us develop better ways to treat the disease and even prevent it in high-risk women.” Because of discoveries like this, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased steadily since 1990!
Equally important to these advances is the power that a woman has to take charge of her health; from lifestyle choices to participation in annual physicals, there are best practices that can impact a woman’s wellbeing and ensure early detection if needed. In fact, the survival rate for a woman who receives an early stage diagnosis is 99%!
Reduce the risk!
One thing is certain: There are a number of things that women can do to optimize their health, and almost all of them can be incorporated into your daily routine at minimal (or no!) expense. Here are our Top “5 To Thrive” tips to help you or your loved ones reduce the risk of developing this disease:
- GIVE YOUR DIET AN UPGRADE: As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “The most powerful medicine is at the end of your fork.” A nutrient-rich diet that’s high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants along with adequate amounts of quality proteins and fats provides the fuel needed to combat illness, fight inflammation and repair the body in times of stress.
- GET MOVING: Excess levels of estrogen are a known factor in the development of breast cancer. Adipose tissue (fat) is a source of estrogen production in postmenopausal and obese women, and higher BMI (Body Mass Index) has been correlated to higher levels of estrogen. Shedding extra pounds is a great way to encourage healthy hormone production and lower risk!
- AT-HOME SCREENINGS: Don’t underestimate the tried-and-true self exam. It’s a convenient, private way to check for changes to breast tissue and texture that may alert your doctor to a potential problem. Talk to your medical practitioner about tips and best practices!
- GET CONNECTED: Not only do we see lower inflammation, blood pressure and obesity in those who are socially active (even if it’s socially distanced), but recent studies indicate a lower mortality rate among those who maintain connection to a community while undergoing cancer treatment. Plus, a social support system can help create a positive outlook and healthy mindset.
- FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE: Did you know that stress increases cortisol and other stress hormones that interrupt healthy sex hormone production? Find some time to de-stress each day; a quick walk outdoors, deep breathing or relaxing with a book are all great ways to unwind!
Be sure to print out our “5 to Thrive” Tips by clicking the image! Share with your loved ones so that they can start taking steps toward prevention today!