Lifestyle Strategies that can help Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common and complex diseases affecting American women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated there would be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the US in 2019 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that about 1 in 8 women born today in the U.S. is likely to develop breast cancer at some point of time. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the U.S. developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12%. Age, family history, genetics, and gender are the common risk factors for cancer and these are not within a person’s control. However, research shows that lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of breast cancer, even in women at high risk.

Adopting the following lifestyle changes can optimize your health and lower your risk of breast cancer:

Breast Cancer

  • Avoid the use of plastic containers and aluminum cans: Get rid of plastic containers and aluminum cans (BPA lining, phthalates, etc) from your life as much as possible. Never drink water from plastic bottles, especially if they’ve been sitting in the heat. This is because all plastics may leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated, says a research. BPA, which is added to plastic to make it durable was discovered to be a powerful xenoestrogen, a synthetic chemical that mimics the natural estrogen in our bodies. With constant use of plastics, these xenoestrogens are stored in our fatty tissue (especially the breast) and can lead to cancer. Use glass jars and bottles.
  • Stop using products with synthetic chemicals and unknown elements: Get rid of all face, body, beauty, or fragrance products that contain synthetic chemicals and unknown elements. Parabens are a common and harmful ingredient found in beauty products such as makeup, moisturizer, shaving cream, shampoo, and spray-tan products. The FDA currently acknowledges several studies linking parabens, which mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer, and decreased sperm count (www.byrdie.com/). As your skin absorbs whatever you apply on it, use natural and plant-based products whenever possible.
  • Keep a watch on your dietary choices: Research suggests that dietary factors could be responsible for 30–40%of all cancers. Eating a healthy diet can make a difference to your risk of developing breast cancer and enhance your overall well-being. Although no specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer, including certain items in your diet may help reduce your overall breast cancer risk. Mayo Clinic notes that “women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. This is mainly because the Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet automatically choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and eat fish over red meat”.
  • Substitute chemical cleaning products with natural alternatives: To avoid contact with harmful chemicals present in cleaning products, use natural alternatives such as baking soda, vinegar, citrus oil, lemon or sage infused vinegar, and so on.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is an important breast-healthy habit. A fredhutch.org report points out that research suggests that increased physical activity, even when begun later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 percent to 30 percent. The ACS recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of both).
  • Limit exposure to light, especially at night: Results of some studies imply that women who work at night (like doctors, factory workers, nurses, and police officers) have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Similarly, studies suggest that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights) have a higher risk of breast cancer. It is believed that increase in risk is linked to melatonin levels, which tend to stay low in women who work at night or in those who are exposed to external light at night. Installing blackout shades on bedroom windows can help control excess light exposure at night. Use low-wattage or red bulbs in nightlights and install a low-wattage or red-bulb nightlight in your bathroom(s).
  • Breastfeed your baby for as long as possible: Plan to have your first child before your thirties and breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. Studies report that women who breastfeed their babies for six months or longer have a lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy: Studies suggest that postmenopausal women who had hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be more likely to develop or face increased risk of breast cancer. HRT was used in the past to help control night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause. On a safer side, it is best to use it at the lowest dose that works for you and for as short a time as possible. Talk with your physician for better options to manage postmenopausal symptoms.

Educating yourself about breast cancer and making positive changes in your lifestyle hold the key to staying healthy and minimizing your risks.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). This annual campaign is organized to highlight the importance of early detection and treatment of breast cancer, one of the most common cancers found in American women.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness month is celebrated with the aim to reduce these numbers. The campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31.

NBCAM was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. As part of NBCAM, the third Friday in October is observed annually as National Mammography Day. This year, National Mammography Day falls on October 19.

Mammography is specialized medical imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to see inside the breasts. The procedure takes about 20 minutes. A mammography exam or mammogram plays a key role in the early detection of breast cancer and can save lives. Early detection is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease, or at least, minimize its progression. It can detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain, skin dimpling or nipple discharge. Here some important things you should know about getting a mammogram:

  • Before getting a mammogram, discuss any recent changes or problems in your breasts with your healthcare provider.
  • Discuss any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk-such as surgery, hormone use, breast cancer in your family, or if you’ve had breast cancer before.
  • If you have a choice, use a facility that specializes in mammograms and does many mammograms a day.
  • Try to visit the same facility every time you want this test, as it is easy to compare your mammograms from year to year and get a proper idea of your condition.
  • After discussion with your physician, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen before your mammogram to reduce discomfort.
  • Scheduling your mammogram when your breasts are not tender or swollen (the week just before your period) could reduce discomfort and also provide good pictures.
  • Don’t use any deodorant, lotion, or antiperspirant on the upper part of the body on the day of exam, as it might result in unclear images.
  • Do a self-exam several days after your period ends. If you no longer have periods, do the self-exam on a day that’s easy to remember.
  • Consult with your physician to determine how often you should get a mammogram.

With the founding of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993, the pink ribbon was chosen as the official symbol for this campaign. However, the breast cancer awareness campaign is not only about finding a cure or getting a mammogram or raising money. It’s about prevention and education and guaranteed treatment for everyone.

Dietary Choices that can reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Dietary Choices that can reduce Risk of Breast Cancer Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers found in American women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated there would be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the US in 2019. Breast cancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors such as age, family history, genetics, and gender, which are not within a person’s control. However, experts say that making certain lifestyle changes can lower your risk. One such change is healthy food choices.

Eating a healthy diet can decrease your risk of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Research suggests that dietary factors could be responsible for 30–40%of all cancers. So your dietary choices can make a difference to your risk of developing breast cancer or your overall well-being while living with the condition. Although no specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer, including certain items in your diet may help reduce your overall breast cancer risk.

Mayo Clinic notes that “women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. This is mainly because the Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. So, people who follow the Mediterranean diet automatically choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and eat fish instead of red meat”.

Here are certain foods that play a role in a healthful diet in general and may also help prevent the development or progression of breast cancer:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables: According to a Medical News Today article, a study of 91,779 women found that following a diet comprising mainly plants could cut the risk of developing breast cancer by 15%. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day, limiting processed and red meats, and choosing whole grains to help reduce risks of all types of cancer. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends consuming between five and nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.Fruits and vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, which have various medical benefits. Your diet should include cruciferous veggies (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and all items that are high in Vitamin A and C) and fruits, especially berries and peaches.

    A new study has found that eating certain foods could help decrease the side effects caused by breast cancer treatment. The research suggests that diet can serve as a modifiable target for possibly reducing symptoms among breast cancer survivors.

  • Fiber-rich foods: Several studies have suggested that fiber rich foods such as whole grains, beans, and legumes can help protect against the disease. Eating a high fiber diet can keep estrogen from interacting with breast cancer cells, which could be a factor in the development and spread of some types of breast cancer and accelerate the elimination of estrogen.Fiber-rich foods also support the digestive system and the regular elimination of waste, including excess estrogen. This helps the body eliminate toxins and limits the damage that they can do. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend an intake of up to 33.6 grams of fiber a day, depending on a person’s age and sex.
  • Antioxidants foods that are mainly plant based: Medical News Today reported ona 2013 meta-analysis which found that people who eat more whole grains may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Whole grains can help prevent many diseases by reducing the numbers of free radicals, which are waste substances that the body naturally produces. Foods such as lentils and legumes, are rich in protein, fiber, folic, iron and an array of antioxidants.
  • Soybean-based products: A plant based product that is rich in protein, soybean is a food that is rich in healthful fat, vitamins, and minerals but low in carbohydrates, that may reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also contains antioxidants known as isoflavones, which can possibly help bind estrogen and decrease the risk of hormone related cancers such as breast and prostate. Soy is present in foods such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk and soy nuts.

Other foods that experts recommend to reduce breast cancer risk are: low fat milk and dairy products, foods rich in vitamin D and other vitamins, and spiceswith anti-inflammatory properties such as capsaicin, turmeric, and garlic.

Apart from healthy diet, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing physical activity levels and weight management, could lower the risks of getting breast cancer.

 

How to Prepare for a Mammogram

How to Prepare for a MammogramThe mammogram involves the use of an x-ray machine to find breast cancer as early as possible. This screening tool allows the diagnosis to be made at an early stage, even before a cancerous tumor is felt. However, your first mammogram can create some anxiety, which is quite normal. Educating yourself about what the exam involves may help the process go more smoothly. Here some important things you should know about getting a mammogram:

  • Discuss any recent changes or problems in your breasts with your healthcare provider before getting the mammogram. Also discuss any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk-such as surgery, hormone use, breast cancer in your family, or if you’ve had breast cancer before.
  • If you have a choice, use a facility that specializes in mammograms and does many mammograms a day. Try to go to the same facility every time you want this test, as it is easy to compare your mammograms from year to year and get a proper idea of your condition.
  • Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen before your mammogram can reduce discomfort. Talk to your physician about this first.
  • If possible schedule your mammogram when your breasts are not tender or swollen (the week just before your period). This can reduce discomfort and also provide good pictures.
  • On the day of exam, don’t use any deodorant, lotion, or antiperspirant on the upper part of the body, as it might result in unclear images.
  • You would have to remove your top and bra for the mammogram. Wear a skirt or pants so that undressing above the waist is easy. The facility will give you a wrap to use.
  • The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes and the actual breast compression lasts only a few seconds.
  • Between your regular mammograms, do a self-exam at the end of each menstrual period. If you notice a change, you can be proactive about it.
  • Consult with your physician to determine how often you should get a mammogram.

Most abnormalities found during a mammogram are not cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 10 women who have a mammogram will require an additional mammography or ultrasound screening to investigate any suspicions.

Emerging Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Emerging Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in American women, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there will be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the US in 2019. Awareness campaigns have done a lot to throw light on the disease, helping women to take informed decisions about their health. This is well reflected in the breast cancer death rate which declined by 1.8% a year from 2007 to 2016. Early detection can make the disease easier to treat. And for this, it’s important for you to understand the risk factors for breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to ensure that your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.

The term “risk” is used to refer to a number or percentage that describes how likely a certain event is to occur (www.breastcancer.org). Several factors can increase or decrease the risk of developing breast cancer, either for the first time or as a recurrence. There are two different types of risk: established and emerging risks.

The main established risks include: genetic predisposition and family history; natural oestrogen; oestrogen in pharmaceutical products; weight gain and lack of exercise, and alcohol consumption.The emerging risks factors are those that are still under study, that is, newly suspected risk factors.

  • Low Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for good bone health and proper functioning of the immune, muscle, and nervous systems. Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer, as vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and could stop breast cancer cells from growing. 
    To boost your Vit D levels, get more direct sunlight exposure and take vitamin D3 supplements.
  • Light exposure especially at night: Results of some studies imply that women who work at night (like doctors, factory workers, nurses, and police officers) have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Similarly, studies suggest that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights) have a higher risk of breast cancer. It is believed that increase in risk is linked to melatonin levels, that is, melatonin levels tend to stay low in women who work at night or in those who are exposed to external light at night. 
    Installing blackout shades on bedroom windows can help control excess light exposure at night. Use low-wattage or red bulbs in nightlights and install a low-wattage or red-bulb nightlight in your bathroom(s).
  • Diethylstilbestrol Exposure: Back in 1940s through the 1960s, pregnant women were given Diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage. Those who took DES have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, and women who were exposed to DES while their mothers were pregnant with them also may have slightly higher risk of breast cancer later in life. 
    The best option is to consult doctor at a DES clinic who has expertise in this area. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can minimize your risks.
  • Unhealthy Food: According to one study, girls who eat a high-fat diet during puberty, even if they don’t become overweight or obese, may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life. However, research on adult women in the United States hasn’t found any link between breast cancer risk and dietary fat intake. There is no food that can prevent cancer (www.breastcancer.org). What you can do is to eat more of foods that can make and keep your body as healthy as possible and boost your immune system.  
    This can help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible. The ACS recommends eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day, limiting processed and red meats, and choosing whole grains to help reduce risks of all types of cancer.
  • Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics, Sunscreen: While cosmetics make us look, feel and smell good, research strongly suggest that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in cosmetics may contribute to the development of cancer. Sunscreen can protect us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but at the same time, research implies that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in some sunscreen products may cause cancer. 
    Reduce your exposure to parabens and phthalates in cosmetics and instead of wearing chemical sunscreen, try to wear a sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium. Avoid going outside when the sun is at its peak, usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Exposure to plastics: Research suggest that some chemicals in plastic products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), and chemicals in lawn and garden products, may cause cancer. 
    While it may not be possible to completely avoid all plastic products, use them as little as possible, especially if you’re pregnant.  Never use it around food.

Talk to your doctor about all of your possible risk factors for breast cancer. Your doctor can advise you on steps to take to lower your risk of breast cancer.

Tips to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer RiskBreast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting American women. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one in eight women born today in the U.S. is likely to develop breast cancer at some point of time. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the U.S. developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12%. Here are some strategies to improve your breast health and reduce your risks for breast cancer.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight raises the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true after menopause, which is the time of life when breast cancer most often occurs. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), after menopause, most of your estrogen comes from fat tissue and having more fat tissue can increase your chance of getting breast cancer by raising estrogen levels. So, staying at a healthy weight is important for breast health.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is an important breast-healthy habit. A fredhutch.org report points out that research suggests that increased physical activity, even when begun later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 percent to 30 percent. The ACS recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of both).
  • Eat healthy: Experts say that a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a proper diet can go a long way in maintaining breast health. The ACS recommends eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day, limiting processed and red meats, and choosing whole grains to help reduce risks of all types of cancer. Foods includes cruciferous veggies (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and all items that are high in Vitamin A and C), walnuts, Fiber-rich foods (that include beans, barley, bulgur, lentils, peas, artichokes, dates and raspberries), turmeric, oily fish (anchovies, herring, mackerel, or sardines), plant-based protein and flax seeds.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits. Research says that long-term smoking can increase the risk of breast cancer in some women. Quitting reduces the risks of cancer and many other serious health conditions.
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake: Alcohol contains carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer. According to ACS research, women who have 2 to 3 drinks a day have about a 20% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink at all. According to the ACS, women should not have more than one alcoholic drink a day, regardless of the type of alcohol.
  • Breastfeed your baby for as long as possible: Plan to have your first child before your thirties and breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. Studies report that women who breastfeed their babies for six months or longer have a lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy: Studies suggest that postmenopausal women who had hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be more likely to develop or increase the risk of breast cancer. HRT was used more often in the past to help control night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause. On a safer side, it is best to use it at the lowest dose that works for you and for as short a time as possible. Talk with your physician for better options to manage postmenopausal symptoms.
  • Cutback sitting time: According to the ACS, there is growing evidence that sitting time increases the likelihood of developing cancer, especially for women. In their study, women who spent 6 hours or more each a day sitting when not working had a 10% greater risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who sat less than 3 hours a day, and an increased risk for other cancer types as well. So limit you sitting time, or take a short interval after long sitting.
  • Check your breasts for anything unusual: Become familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel so that you can detect anything unusual. One of the best ways to prevent breast cancer is to examine your breasts daily. A breast self-exam can help you notice changes that may be a sign of breast cancer. Symptoms might include changes in
    • How your breasts or nipples feel (tenderness, a lump in the breast or armpit, or a change in your skin’s texture)
    • Breast or nipple appearance (a change in size, dimpling, swelling, shrinking, asymmetry or inverted nipples)
    • Spontaneous nipple discharge (sometimes blood as a discharge)

Last but not least, get regular breast cancer screenings. For optimal breast health, follow these three rules: observe, self-examine, and screen.

How to Restore Attractive Breasts after Breastfeeding

BreastfeedingWomen desire a firm, attractive bustline, but pregnancy and breastfeeding can drastically change the shape and size of the breasts. Due to specific hormones, your breasts go through a process during pregnancy that prepares them for breastfeeding. However, after breastfeeding, the breasts tend to deflate, sag and become droopy. The good news is that moms can get back their pre-pregnancy breasts by practicing some easy habits.

  • Follow a healthy diet: Maintain a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, legumes and lean protein. Foods that are rich in vitamin B (eggs, fish, and poultry) and E (nuts, seeds, and leafy greens) help maintain skin’s elasticity and tone. Avoid or reduce animal fat intake or saturated fats as much as you can.
  • Provide your breasts with proper support: Though many women find it bothersome to wear a supportive bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding, this is important as your breasts need support during this phase. So try to get the right nursing or sports bra which will support your breasts and prevent further sagging. Wearing the right bras will keep the breast strong and lifted by supporting the weight of your breasts.
  • Use the right position while breastfeeding: You should maintain good posture while feeding your baby. Many women tend to lean over the baby while nursing, but doing so tends to stretch the skin and put pressure on muscles, ruining the appearance of the breasts. Experts recommend using breastfeeding pillows or sitting up straight while breastfeeding.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can improve muscle tone and help shed the weight you gained in pregnancy. Do light exercises such as jogging, swimming and walking during the breastfeeding phase.
  • Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy or water therapy is a natural treatment for firmer and fuller breasts. It involves the use of water, both internally and externally, and at varying temperatures, for health purposes. According to an article from totalcurve.com, exposing your body to alternate hot and cold showers will improve blood circulation, stimulating the production of skin proteins, collagen and elastin responsible for the skin’s elasticity and tone. These proteins can improve the firmness of breast skin, resulting in perky, fuller breasts. Improved blood circulation can also stimulate the growth of the breast tissues.
  • Moisturize: Keep your breasts moisturized. This will provide multiple benefits such as helping the skin cells maintain their strength to help prevent sagging and improving sensitivity in the nipples. Moreover, massaging your breasts while moisturizing them will improve blood circulation and support the breast tissues in their repair and regrowth activities. Olive oil and almond oil are great options to address sagging concerns.
  • Avoid rapid weight loss: Post-pregnancy, many women look to lose weight quickly. However, rapid weight loss will stretch the skin and affect the appearance of your breasts. So try to lose that weight gained gradually, which will give your skin time to adapt.
  • Wean gradually: Stop breastfeeding gradually over an extended period of time. In addition to not being good for your child, weaning suddenly causes the breasts to shrink rapidly, leading to the tissue losing its strength. When you wean gradually, it will help the fat tissue to redeposit inside the breasts and help them regain their pre-pregnancy appearance more quickly.

These natural techniques show their effect over a few months. If you are not satisfied with natural treatments and techniques then you can consider cosmetic surgery. Breast augmentation or breast augmentation along with a breast lift can restore the appearance of the breasts after pregnancy.

Celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October

Breast CancerBreast cancer is one of the most common cancers found in American women, other than skin cancers. So, to increase awareness regarding this, October is observed as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) (October 1-October 31). NBCAM is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. This awareness campaign was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one in eight women born today in the U.S. is likely to develop breast cancer at some point of time, because currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12%. Breast Cancer Awareness Month helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. One of the major aims of NBCAM from the beginning has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer, because the prerequisite is early detection. Such awareness programs can help many women fight and survive this particular disease because they become knowledgeable about early detection procedures and how symptoms can be managed successfully with advanced treatments.

Let’s look at certain common myths that exist about breast cancer, and the actual facts.

Myth 1.

Breast cancer is hereditary:

Many people believe that a woman who has a family history of breast cancer is more likely to get this disease in future. But the fact is that only about 5% to 10% of breast cancers are considered hereditary, which means they are caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child. Lifestyle and environmental factors can have an impact on breast cancer risk.

Myth 2.

All lumps are cancerous:

A lump is not always cancerous, in fact only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. But if you find a lump in your breast don’t ignore it, instead visit a physician for a clinical breast exam. It’s always good to be concerned in such matters; with the help of breast imaging studies your physician can figure out whether the lump is dangerous or not.

Myth 3.

Bras can be a reason for breast cancer:

According to healthline, a 2014 study showed no significant difference in risk of breast cancer between women wearing and not wearing bras with underwire. The connection between bras and breast cancer isn’t supported by any reputable, peer-reviewed epidemiological journal.

Myth 4.

Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have any proof that ingredients in underarm deodorants and antiperspirants cause cancer. Moreover, there is no significant evidence to support the claim that antiperspirants cause breast cancer, either due to toxin buildup or aluminum exposure, because according to the National Cancer Institute, no scientific research has shown that use of deodorants or antiperspirants results in breast cancer.

Myth 5.

Only women get breast cancer:

Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men too can also get breast cancer. Even though breast cancer in women is approximately 100 times more common than in men, according to healthline, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be diagnosed in 2018. Men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and report any changes to their physicians.

Early detection of breast cancer is important to avoid further complications. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.”

Breast Changes that Occur during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time where a women’s body goes through myriad physical changes. Apart from the expanding belly and weight gain, the body part that undergoes the most changes are the breasts. Hormone oestrogen is responsible for breast development and enlargement during pregnancy, which is normal as your body gets ready for lactation. Knowing about the changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy will make these signs easier to manage.Breast Changes

  • Breasts become big and heavy: During pregnancy, your breasts expand. The amount of fatty tissue and blood flow to your breasts increases in order to help the milk ducts and mammary glands grow. Usually, the breasts will start to look larger around the six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Typical breast size growth in pregnant women is around a one-to-two cup sizes. As the breast size changes, you may feel some discomfort such as itchiness, stretch marks and so on.
  • Visible pigments and veins: Blood volume increases around 50 percent during pregnancy and increased blood flow to the breasts results in visible veins. If you have light skin, vein visibility to stand out more. Usually, this fades after delivery. Dark pigmentation will be also seen around the areolas, which will also increase in size.
  • Sore Breasts: Rapidly increasing levels of the oestrogen and progesterone are thought to be the prime reason for the soreness of breasts which is usually seen during pregnancy. For some women, one of the first signs of being pregnant is sore breasts, which may get ease off to a more manageable level or get diminished after the first trimester.
  • Nipple changes: Pregnant women may notice changes such as darkened nipples and increased nipple size.
  • Areola bumps and lumps: It’s common to see certain bumps and lumps over your areolas and breasts when you are pregnant. The bumps, called “Montgomery’s tubercles,” are just an oil producing glands caused by the production of milk. They help sterilize the nipples during breastfeeding. Common causes of such lumps include fibroadenomas (fibrous tissue), and galactoceles (cysts filled with milk).
  • Leakage: After the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s common that your breasts will start to produce milk. Some women experience leaking of this milk in the form of a yellowish substance called colostrum.

These breast changes are common and there is nothing to worry. Knowing about the changes and taking certain steps can make them easier to manage:

  • Wear a well-fitting maternity bra to avoid sagging in future
  • Moisturize breast skin well to avoid itchiness that may happen due to the stretching of skin
  • Eat healthy
  • Massaging the breast tissue can alleviate some of the discomfort and help alleviate potential sagging.

Regular breast checks during pregnancy can promote breast health. If you feel or notice anything unusual, consult your doctor immediately.

How to Address Sagging Breasts without Surgery

Sagging Breasts without SurgeryAging causes the breasts to sag and droop, which can be a major concern for many women. The different stages of life such as aging, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause directly or indirectly affect the skin and muscles around the breasts, causing them to sag. You can’t stop your body from aging and or fight the effects of gravity. However, adopting some healthy habits can help resolve saggy breasts by keeping the supporting tissues around them as firm as possible.

  • Exercise: Incorporate exercises into your daily routine, especially those that target the breast tissues and pectoral muscles. According to an article from www.health.com, strengthening the pectoral muscles as well as the muscles of the back, shoulders, and core, could help reduce the appearance of sagging by enhancing overall tone and posture. Exercises that can help include the pushup, chest press, chest pull, arm raise and dumbbell fly. It’s also important to maintain a healthy, stable weight to prevent changes in breast appearance associated with extreme weight gain and loss.
  • Healthy eating: Experts say that eating antioxidant foods can keep your skin supple and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging. It’s also necessary to follow a nutrient-rich diet to maintain the firmness of the breasts. Including plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in your diet is necessary to avoid nutritional deficiencies and keep your body healthy.
  • Wear a bra that fits well: Wearing a bra that fits properly is another important measure to prevent sagging. A supportive bra helps keep the breasts in place.
  • Sleeping position: If you sleep on your side, it may increase the chances of breast sag overtime. According to Health, lying on your back is a better idea, because the weight of your breasts is fully supported on your chest, which may help retain their perkiness and also reduce signs of aging.
  • Quit smoking: A 2008 study published in Aesthetic Surgery found that women who smoked were more likely to experience breast droopiness after pregnancy. This is because smoking can cause collagen to break down, which in turn, increases risks of sagging.
  • Regular massage: Regular massage could be an effective way to maintain the firmness of the breasts and prevent sagging. Massaging the breasts for 15 minutes in upward motion will improve blood circulation and strengthen the connective muscles and tissues, which can prevent sagging and improve the appearance of the breasts.

If these strategies don’t work to address sagging, breast lift surgery could provide the solution. Performed by skilled plastic surgeons, a scarless breast lift in NYC can raise drooping breasts and provide immediate skin tightening effects, resulting in an attractive youthful-looking appearance.