EARLY DETECTION IS EVERYTHING
Breast cancer symptoms can vary widely, from lumps to dimpling of the skin to changes in breast size, shape and color. It is important to get to know what is normal for your body and bring any changes that do not go away to your doctor’s attention.
What is Normal…
- Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
- Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If These Symptoms Don’t Go Away, See Your Doctor…
- A lump, which can feel like a frozen pea
- Swelling, soreness or rash
- Warmth, redness or darkening
- Change in size or shape of either breast
- Dimpling or prickling of the skin
- New pain in one spot that does not go away
- Persistent itching
- Bumps that resemble bug bites
- Limit your fat intake. Research shows a modest decrease in invasive breast cancer in women with a low–fat diet. Fill up on cancer–fighting foods like fruits and vegetables, and eat red meat sparingly.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. There’s a clear link between obesity and breast cancer due to the excess estrogen production in fatty tissue.
- Make exercise a part of your daily life. Regular exercise for 30 minutes or more on most days can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Cut back on cocktails. There seems to be some link between alcohol and breast cancer, although scientists don’t really know how strong.
- Don’t smoke. While there is limited research that suggests smoking cigarettes may be linked to breast and ovarian cancer, there is a direct link between tobacco use and many other cancers (not just lung or other oral cancers).
- Vitamin A: Researchers have found that this powerful vitamin can actually reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in those who have a family history of the disease. Carrots, sweet potatoes, dried herbs, and leafy greens are all rich in vitamin A.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is known to help reduce the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer by slowing the growth of cancer cells.The best way to get more vitamin D in your diet is by eating fatty fish (such as salmon), but it can also be found in milk, fortified cereal, orange juiceand eggs.
- Fiber: This nutrient found in whole grain, flax, certain cereals, beans and vegetables has been shown to reduce estrogen levels, which in turn can slow the growth of cancer cells in the breasts. When shopping, swap your white bread with whole grain bread, white rice with brown rice, and sugary cereal for a cereal rich in fiber and the vitamins listed above.
- Fruits and Vegetables: In general, fruits and vegetables carry the vitamins and nutrients that can help lower your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Aim for at least five servings a day and try to include lots of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach. To download a cancer fighting foods shopping list, just click here.
- Choose cleaning products and personal care products that fully disclose ingredients, including the components of fragrance. Synthetic fragrance can contain dozens of chemicals, such as phthalates and synthetic musks that disrupt the body’s hormones. (More details here)
- Select stainless steel or glass for drinking water to reduce exposure to BPA (a hormone disruptor) and replacements for BPA in plastic, many of which behave like estrogen. (More details here)
- Learn to read the labels of cosmetics and personal care products. This can help avoid synthetic chemicals (like those ending with -PEG and -eth) and ensure that companies who make claims of “organic” and “natural” really are organic and natural. (More details here)