No one can control whether or not they get breast cancer–but there’s a lot we can control to keep ourselves, and our breasts, as healthy as possible. Here are five ways to get on top of your breast health and live your healthiest life.
1. Know your risk of breast cancer
The truth is that everyone is at risk of breast cancer–but some of us are at a higher risk than others. Understanding our risk helps us take better care of our breast health. The best way to do this is to talk to our doctors about our family health history and other personal risk factors. This Know Your Risk tool can help you prepare for the conversation.
2. Know what’s normal for your breasts
The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. Our bodies are unique, and so is what’s normal for our breasts. It’s important for each of us to be aware of how our breasts normally look and feel and take action if something seems off. By seeing a doctor if we ever notice a change in our breasts, we can take charge of our breast health.
3. Get screened for breast cancer
Here’s one thing we know about breast cancer: The earlier you find it and get effective treatment, the more likely you are to survive. Screening tests are the only way to find breast cancer even before it causes early signs or symptoms. The best way to figure out when and how often to get screened is to talk to a doctor about your personal risk factors.
4. Make lifestyle choices to reduce your breast cancer risk
There are so many reasons to make your health a priority. You’ll feel better. You’ll be better able to take care of all the things–and people–that need your attention. And you’ll decrease your risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions. When it comes to breast cancer specifically, there are a few things everyone can do to reduce their risk.
5. Be your own best advocate
Let’s be real–not all of us feel comfortable going to the doctor. But if we want to live our best lives and stay on top of our health–including our breast health–it’s necessary. Fortunately, there are ways to feel more comfortable and be your own best advocate. Try these tips with your doctor to make sure you get the care you deserve.
There are so many things in this life we can’t control. We owe it to ourselves, and the people who love us, to take charge of the things we can.