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What are the Best Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention?

Article Details
  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Breast cancer is generally considered the most frequently occurring and curable cancer in women. Incidence of breast cancer is generally declining worldwide, and many medical experts agree that much of this decline is due to various types of breast cancer prevention. Some of the more obvious breast cancer prevention methods include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding hormone replacement therapy. In addition, women should make themselves aware of environmental carcinogens and try to limit their exposure.

One of the most important things to consider in regard to breast cancer prevention may be assessment of risk. Some women are at much greater risk of developing breast cancer, and generally, these women should take extra precautionary measures. Women with a history of breast cancer in their families are considered one of the highest risk groups for developing breast cancer, because some types of the cancer are believed to be genetic. In addition, women who have been exposed to synthetic estrogen, particularly hormone replacement therapy, may also be at greater risk. Women in these risk groups should probably consult with their physicians to discuss monitoring and prevention, as they may require mammograms and other testing procedures.

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Environmental carcinogens account for many cases of breast cancer and some of these include chlorinated pesticides, breast implants made of polyurethane foam, and growth hormones given to livestock. In addition, some studies indicate that living near waste disposal facilities or nuclear power plants may also increase risk of breast cancer. Studies evaluating the risks of these environmental hazards sometimes offer conflicting opinions, so women should do the research and make their own assessments. In particular, studies relating to hormone-injected livestock are generally highly debated, but women in a high-risk group may want to consider eating meats that are hormone-free. Though they are often more expensive, hormone-free meats and free-range meats are available at most groceries.

Breast cancer prevention can only go so far, so most doctors suggest that women, especially those in high-risk groups, may also need to focus on early detection. Mammograms are considered one of the most effective methods of detecting breast cancer tissue, though some studies suggest that the procedure itself may be carcinogenic. This may be especially true when mammograms are administered in younger women. Self-examination is another method of detection, and typically involves using the hands to press on breast tissue to discover lumps under the skin. These examinations may be be more effective when performed just before or after menstruation.

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