Breast Cancer: You Can Reduce Your Risk

When it comes to breast cancer, you have the power to reduce your risk.

Breast cancer statistics can seem daunting—the American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 women will develop the disease in her lifetime—but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. While you can’t change risk factors such as gender, age, race and genetics, you do have the power to help reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Avoid extra pounds that can increase your risk by eating a healthy diet and exercising. Use the USDA MyPlate as a guide to preparing meals and snacks. And follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week and doing muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. Make healthy beverage choices too. Avoid alcohol or limit alcohol consumption to no more than one serving daily.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a single serving as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.
     
  • Make informed decisions about breastfeeding and hormone replacement therapy. Studies have linked breastfeeding for at least several months to a reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer. On the other hand, research has shown that combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of getting breast cancer.
     
  • Talk with your doctor about being screened for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society advises women begin doing breast self-exams in their 20s, and have both a clinical breast exam and a mammogram annually starting at age 40. They advise women at high risk for developing breast cancer to also have an annual MRI. Also discuss any symptoms or concerns you may have in a timely manner.

Women's Imaging Center at Oak Hill Hospital
The Women's Center at Oak Hill Hospital offers digital mammography as well as other breast imaging and diagnostic procedures. Digital mammography is faster, so exams are shorter and you will get results more quickly. With a tranquil, spa-like atmosphere, comfortable gowns and subdued lighting, our center is designed to provide women with a positive and relaxing experience. Self-referrals for mammography are accepted, walk-ins are welcome and we offer after hours appointments.

To schedule a mammogram appointment at the Women’s Imaging Center, please call Central Scheduling at (800) 921-7158 or register online.

Related Posts:
Medical Tests Every Woman Should Have
What to Expect from a Mammogram

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