Studies reveal that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women in America today, and about 264,000 women get breast cancer while 42000 die annually in the U.S. As a countermeasure to reduce cancer incidences and mortality rates, breast cancer awareness campaigns are imperative to ensure women are breast cancer savvy. With heightening campaigns on breast cancer awareness month, October, you need to take health matters into your hands to stay safe by adopting healthy habits such as breastfeeding and lifestyles.
What is breast cancer awareness?
Breast cancer awareness imparts knowledge, particularly to women, on a myriad of issues surrounding cancer, including risk factors, signs and symptoms, and remedies to lower risks. Therefore, cancer awareness will reduce the chances of women getting the condition and what to do in case they are diagnosed with it.
How to take breast health into your hands
Being diagnosed with breast cancer comes with diverse emotional responses, alteration of life qualities, perceptions, and costs. To prevent such, women should take health matters into their hands by:
Practicing regular self-breast examination
A regular inspection of your breast increases your breast knowledge and awareness, assisting in noticing any minor changes you should be wary about. To conduct a self-breast examination, you only need to use your eyes and hands to see, touch, and feel any changes emerging from your breast. For successful self-breast examination:
• Visually check on the changes in size, shape, and ridge symmetry at the bottom of the breast.
• Press using different pressure levels to reach different breast breaths
• Use sensitive parts of the hands which ensure you identify lumps and other changes
• Take your time to reach all your breast parts.
• Define and use the same pattern during regular examinations.
Click here for an informative video on how to perform a self-breast exam.
Breastfeeding to Reduce Chances of Getting Cancer
Statistics on breastfeeding and cancer indicate that breastfeeding women are less likely to get breast cancer and other cancer types when they breastfeed longer. For every 12 months of breastfeeding, breast cancer risks reduce by 14%. Another research indicates that women who breastfeed for more than 13 months are 63% more likely to reduce their chances of getting ovarian cancer than those who breastfeed for less. Those who have also breastfed multiple children have a 91% chance of not getting ovarian cancer.
How Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer and other cancer incidences
For lactating mothers, breastfeeding can be a challenge, but the health benefits, such as reducing the chances of getting cancer, are worthy. Also, breastfeeding for a longer period will significantly reduce cancer risks. The chances of getting breast cancer when breastfeeding is lower because:
- The breast is active: When women breastfeed, the breast cells become active and resistant to various growths, which reduces the chances of cancer cells from growing. Inactive and worn-out breast tissues are continuously replaced and replenished.
- Changes in hormones: When lactating, the release of menstruation is delayed reducing exposure to hormones such as estrogen, which are promoters of breast cancer cell growth. The hormonal changes due to breastfeeding and the delayed release of eggs also reduce the chances of getting ovarian cancer.
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