Can you reduce breast cancer risk?
9/17/2018 9:31 AM
October is recognized as national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I always say the biggest risk for developing breast cancer is having breasts. The second largest risk factor is your age. Because you are only going to get older, you are limited when it comes to the things you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.
Some research suggests that if you breastfeed your children, your risk for developing breast cancer will be lower. The best way to fight against breast cancer is early detection. In my practice, I notice that many people do not know what their breasts feel like. If you know your breasts, you will be more likely to identify when something is wrong.
When you take a shower, take a look at your breasts and notice the little details. Most people have one breast that is larger than the other, and that is normal. What you want to look for is changes in color, inverted nipples, dimpling, scars, lesions or a mass pulling down on the breast.
Breast tissue can feel lumpy by nature, so the best way to feel for small changes is to lay flat and put one arm over your head, using the opposite hand to feel for anything abnormal. Also be mindful of any swollen lymph nodes in the armpits because that can be the first sign of a problem.
Is it time to schedule your mammogram? Call the CTMC Women’s Center for Breast Health at (512) 753-3733, and get more useful health tips at YouTube.com/CTMCSanMarcos.
About the Author
Dr. Aminatu Akande, MD, is an OBGYN with Live Oak Health Partners in San Marcos.