While mammograms are critical to identify, diagnosis and begin early treatment for breast cancer, we here at Her Wellness know that year-long habits to improve and maintain overall breast health are critical to lowering your risk in the first place.
1 - Menu Planning for Better Boobs
You(r breasts) are what you eat!
- Fill at least half your plate with fresh green, orange, red and yellow veggies and fruits.
A carotenoid-rich, plant heavy diet helps lower your risk of difficult-to-treat estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancers.
- Switch out the iceberg lettuce for kale, spinach and spring greens. These greens are rich in folic acid which helps your body’s ability to repair DNA. Damaged DNA has been linked to cancer.
- Avoid white carbs, like white potatoes, white bread and white pasta. These foods make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight, as they have few nutrients and many calories. Being overweight means your body creates higher levels of estrogen, which has been linked to various cancers.
- Enjoy a little square of dark chocolate every day.
Cocoa beans contain flavonoids, an antioxidant shown to halt cell damage, helping to prevent cancer. Why dark instead of milk? Dark chocolate contains 70-80% cocoa and milk chocolate under 10%.
- Cut the cocktails.
It’s a fact - women who drink more than three drinks a day have 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t drink.
2- Exercise for Better Boobs
Not only does exercise help you maintain that healthy weight, it also shrinks estrogen-producing fat cells, which means your body makes less of this hormone. Exercise also helps release feel-good endorphins, reducing your stress levels; chronic stress is associated with a higher risk and faster spread of cancer.
Getting 150 minutes a week, just 30 minutes five days a week, of cardio exercise will make a big difference. You can:
- Take a Zumba class
- Ride a bike
- Swim laps
- Walk quickly, where conversation is possible but breathless
- Turn on the music and dance in your kitchen
3 - Don’t Smoke for Better Boobs
Smoking causes cancer. Research indicates it causes more aggressive breast cancer, and it especially raises the risk of breast cancer in younger women. Heavy second hand smoke exposure is also linked to a higher risk in postmenopausal women. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, smoking will make it more difficult to heal after any surgeries or reconstruction, will interfere with radiation therapy and raises your risk of blood clots with hormone therapies.
4 - Screenings
Feel those breasts! Whether you’re doing a thorough monthly self-exam or just paying a bit more attention to your boobies while you’re soaping up in the shower, getting to know the feel of your breasts makes it easier for you to identify changes - and then report back to us. Get clinical exams and regular mammograms regularly as recommended. While 80% of lumps are benign, every lump you feel should be thoroughly checked as quickly as possible.
Healthy breasts mean a healthy body, because lowering your risk of breast cancer lowers your risk of other cancers too. If you have any questions about breast health, call us at 203-409-2539 or click here to schedule an appointment. Her Wellness, Dr. Garritano and Christina are always happy to help!