Did you know 1 in every 8 women have the potential chances of developing breast cancer during her life? Well, statistics can be surprising but wanna hear something more surprising than this? It is none other than the fact that both men and women can develop breast cancer (not joking). That is why it is so critical to get regular screenings and maintain overall good breast health in order to prevent breast problems like breast cancer.
Now, when it comes to breast health, two of the main thing that you need to practise is exercise and good eating habits. This powerful duo does not only lowers your risk of developing breast cancer but also can increase your odds of beating the disease if you’re diagnosed with it. Apart from that, there are so many other simple ways that give your breasts the care they need to stay firm and healthy.
We chatted with a few oncologists in Malaysia and below Beauty Insider Malaysia presents 10 simple things you can do to boost breast health. Do take note these tips are for prevention and not cure for breast cancer. If you happen to have any symptoms of breast cancer, like changes in skin or nipple, nipple discharge, changes in the size or shape or pain, you should immediately visit a doctor.
- 1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
- 2. If You Smoke Then Stop Smoking
- 3. Add More Vitamin D Foods To Your Diet
- 4. Perform Monthly Breast Checkup Yourself
- 5. Wear Bras That Are Loose and Comfy
- 6. Control Your Alcohol Intake
- 7. Apply Sunscreen On Your Breasts
- 8. Try To Exercise 30 Mins Every Day
- 9. Sit With Your Back Straighten Up
- 10. Bonus Tip: Breastfeed More!!!
1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
The relationship between obesity and breast cancer is not a good one. In general, women who are overweight have more production of estrogen compared to healthy weight women. These estrogens are very sensitive to breast cancer tissues and can stimulate the growth and progression of breast cancer faster. Obese women are also at greater risk for the disease spreading faster and are more likely to die of breast cancer.
2. If You Smoke Then Stop Smoking
Smoking is the main culprit in various diseases including breast cancer. It can mess up your hormones and create harmful interactions within the cells which eventually bone density issues hence increasing the risk of complications related to breast health. Smoking also can increase complications from breast cancer treatment, including damage to the lungs from radiation therapy and a higher risk of blood clots.
3. Add More Vitamin D Foods To Your Diet
Studies show that women with low levels of vitamin D run a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Plus, Vitamin D is also vital for strong bones, immune health and more. Consume more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries and cherries. These foods can help you maintain healthy bones and build immunity against cancerous cells.
4. Perform Monthly Breast Checkup Yourself
Prevention is better than cure that is why it is so important to do a breast self-examination every month. Even if you don’t go to a clinic you can do it yourself at home. Regularly keeping an eye on your breasts will make you more familiar with your breasts and how they change with monthly hormonal fluctuations. If you notice something odd, don’t procrastinate! Instead, go and visit a doctor soon.
5. Wear Bras That Are Loose and Comfy
Did you know more than 70% of women regularly wear the wrong bra size? Though fitting of your bra doesn’t really lead to cancer it can lead to other health problems including poor posture, skin irritation, and breathing difficulties and brings irreversibly damage breast ligaments, leading to breast pain and sagging. Also, bear in mind our breast size can change frequently over your lifetime due to weight changes, pregnancy and menopause so make sure you get measured regularly to ensure you are getting the support you need.
6. Control Your Alcohol Intake
Now, we are not denying there are a few positive health buzzes around booze, but too much alcohol is not good. So, try to minimise your alcohol consumption as low as possible. In fact, studies show that women who have three or more drinks per week have a greater risk of getting breast cancer. Remember the amount of alcohol what matters, not the type of alcoholic drink. So, don’t think you can get away 4-5 glass of wine a week!
7. Apply Sunscreen On Your Breasts
Many of us pay so much attention to our face but often neglect neck down despite the warnings about skin cancer. This is very harmful to the breasts because the skin around our breasts are extremely delicate and are at higher risk of sunburn and cancer. It can also lead to premature ageing, wrinkly cleavage and sagginess. So, make sure to apply a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen on your breast whenever it is exposed to the sun.
8. Try To Exercise 30 Mins Every Day
Women who exercise regularly are 25% less likely to have breast health concerns. Apart from keeping your breast healthy, exercise also can help to maintain bone mass and a healthy weight. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day is ideal. As a bonus, include some breast lifting and firming exercises like dumbbell bench presses, pullovers, pushups, shoulder or chest presses and tricep dips. It can make your breasts look firm!
9. Sit With Your Back Straighten Up
Not many know but your sitting posture affects your breast health. If you want to give yourself an instant breast lift, the best thing you can do is improve your posture. The chest muscles can lose flexibility when your shoulders are hunched, causing sagging over time. So, make sure to sit up straight and if you have posture problems consider taking up an exercise like yoga or pilates as it can improve your postures.
10. Bonus Tip: Breastfeed More!!!
Last but not least in our oncologist approved breast health tip is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding holds tons of benefits like lowering the risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also lower a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers. A recent study found that only about 1 in 4 people think that a woman is less likely to develop breast cancer later in life if she breastfeeds. So, breastfeeding does not only help the baby’s health but also mommy’s health too.