Women are feeling more empowered than ever before to take control over and improve their health. Awareness about the preventative approach to breast cancer can greatly influence positive health outcomes and survival rates among Canadian women.
Breast Cancer Today
It is hard to hide from the statistics that are presented to us. Breast Cancer is currently the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Canada, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young women (Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation). No doubt, these findings are alarming, but there is some good news. Thanks to remarkable scientific developments within the field of research, as well as the advancement of medical technology, 2013 marks the year that the breast cancer death rate is the lowest since 1950!
With all the advances in breast cancer screening technology, mammograms are still the most effective way to detect breast cancer early and improve survival rates. Also, remember the importance of clinical breast exams, and should ensure that it is included in their annual check ups.
What You Can DO
Women today are busy, more so than ever before. Life can feel like a circus act for the professional woman who juggles work life and home life. Sometimes we feel like things are far beyond our control. Running around, and trying to find the right balance is not an easy task. So, if you’re going to slow down even just for a minute, take the time to learn the three most important things to help you gain control over and maintain your best breast health:
- Know Your Breasts
- Take the time to get to know how your breasts look and feel.
- Become “breast aware” (CBCF). First, understand the normal changes that occur monthly due to hormonal fluctuations. This way, you can distinguish unusual changes from ones that are expected, and increase your chances of early detection.
- Know Your Risk
- Get to know your family history. If there is a history of breast or ovarian cancer before age 35 speak to a health care professional.
- Understand the risk factors for breast cancer. Although some of these factors are non-modifiable (for example: age, genetics), there are many factors that can be addressed to reduce your personal risk of developing cancer.
- Talk to your doctor. Discuss your breast health. Your doctor can help you understand your personal risk. This way you can learn about the benefits and limitations of early screening and make a well informed decision.
- Know How Be Proactive
(Recommendations made by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation)
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Ensure to get regular physical activity
- Limit you alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Reduce stress in your life
Keeping up to date with current evidence will enable women to learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce individual risk. These are simple and important recommendations that all women can keep in mind in their endeavour to protect their health and optimize their personal well-being.
Please visit the following links for more Breast Cancer news and information:
By: M. Hansen, R.N