October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in every eight women in the U.S. will get breast cancer. That is a scary fact, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming a statistic. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so now is the perfect time to take healthy steps:

  • Have a healthy body weight- The number on the scale is not just about looks. Having excess body weight can increase your risk for breast cancer. Start in the right direction by calculating your body mass index (BMI), which can tell you how healthy your weight is. Calculate it here: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/index.html
  • Get moving- Even ten minute bouts of exercise can improve your health. Gardening, yoga, and lunchtime walks are all simple ways to get moving. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
  • Eat the rainbow- Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. Many fruits and veggies have antioxidants, which can help prevent cancer.  Aim to eat at least 2 ½ cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit each day. For tools on eating right and being active, visit https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx
  • Stop smoking- Smoking can increase your risk of breast and other cancers. For help, talk with your doctor and visit www.smokefree.gov
  • Limit alcohol- While alcohol can reduce your risk of heart disease, it can also increase your breast cancer risk. Even moderate drinking, which is considered no more than 1 drink per day for women or no more than 2 drinks per day for men, can increase your risk of breast cancer.

Beyond taking the preventive steps above, early detection is also important. Early detection can include:

  1. Self-breast exams
  2. Clinical breast exams with your doctor
  3. Mammograms

To figure out what preventive steps are needed for YOU and to be reminded when you need to do them, download a free app: http://www.earlydetectionplan.org/




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