During October our awareness of frightful things like ghosts, spiders, goblins and ghouls becomes heightened as they appear around us! But there’s another October awareness that can also be terribly frightening, and sometimes life threatening…Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Heightened awareness about breast cancer, like other cancers, is very important since when detected early the disease is more survivable. Recent statistics show that 1 in 8 women born today will have breast cancer, and 2017 estimates say there will be 252,710 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed and 40,610 breast cancer deaths. Early detection is a very important factor in survival.

But there’s also good news surrounding the risks, showing that you can take proactive actions that can help reduce your cancer risk:

  1. Don’t smoke – Evidence strongly suggests that smoking contributes too raising your chance of getting many types of cancer. Thinking about it, have you ever heard a positive report on tobacco?
  2. Monthly self-exams – Johns Hopkins Medical center states “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
  3. Food that offers nutrition – What we eat plays a vital role in how our body performs. A healthy diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fiber that have been linked to reducing your risk of getting many diseases. Here are some resources to help you get started:
  1. Alcohol consumption – One drink or less each day is the recommendation for women, and men should have no more than two.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight – Studies show that having a larger waistline can increase your risk to getting many types of cancers. Maintaining a healthy weight improves your overall wellness, and helps protect you against additional health problems.
  3. Be physically active – Striving to be active for at least 30+ minutes a day is a great goal to set for your wellbeing. Exercise boosts your immune system and helps keep your weight in check. YouTube offers some great workout videos that offers the convenience of in home exercising. Don’t limit yourself to only one exercise routine! There are so many fun options out there!
  4. Annual clinical exams are an important part of early detection. You should see your provider each year for a clinical breast exam as well as pelvic exam. If you have unusual symptoms or changes in your breasts prior to your annual checkup you should get in immediately for an exam. Granger Medical Clinic has many wonderful OB/GYN providers available at many convenient locations.

As research has shown there are many steps that you can take to increase your odds against getting breast cancer. Taking one step at a time is taking a step forward towards prevention!