October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all over the country people are raising awareness about breast cancer and how it’s affected millions of women and men.

Early detection, education, and utilizing available support services are the best defenses against the disease according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. You can learn more about this program by clicking this link. Admittedly, while some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed, there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make to help lower your risk.

In honor of breast cancer awareness and those who stand ready to help others through their breast cancer journeys, we want to share nine prevention tips.

1. Don’t Smoke. Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, but mounting evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Being overweight or obese significantly increases breast cancer risk, especially after menopause.

3. Limit Alcohol. Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. It’s that simple.

4. Healthy Diet. A healthy diet not only helps control weight, it also boosts the human immune system and helps protect against many types of illnesses and ailments, including breast cancer.

5. Routine Exercise. It’s essential for overall health and ties into other aspects of healthy living.

6. Breastfeeding. New research shows that the longer women breast feed, the less likely they seem to develop breast cancer later on. This points to a possible preventative effect.

7. Limit Hormone Therapies. Sustained hormone therapies in excess of three to five years have been linked to increased breast cancer occurrences. If you’re taking hormones for menopausal symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor about alternative treatments.

8. Medical Radiation. Avoid any medical imaging methods, like X-rays, that use radiation doses as much as possible.

9. Contraception. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is some evidence that hormonal contraception, which includes hormone-releasing birth control pills, increases the risk of breast cancer. The risk is considered small and decreases once you stop taking hormonal contraceptives, but, it’s still worth talking to your doctor for more information and possible alternatives.

Above all, stay vigilant. Report any pain or bodily changes, such as lumps, to your doctor immediately. Do you have questions? We are your local community law firm here to help you. Do not wait to contact us at any time, day or night.