What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when the cells in your breasts become abnormal and grow out of control to form tumors. It is the most common cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States.
There are lifestyles changes that have been shown to lower risk of breast cancer.
- Reduce alcohol use – Limit yourself to one drink a day or less.
- Eat healthy foods – Stay at a healthy weight; limit high fat or sugary foods and red meats. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Be physically active – Walk, jog, swim, or dance. Strive to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Breastfeed – If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consider breastfeeding your child for the first year and beyond if possible.
- Do not smoke – Quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke.
- Decrease stress – Do things that you enjoy and surround yourself with friends and family.
Besides lifestyle changes, receiving routine breast cancer screening is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves. By doing so, breast cancer can be found early, before the tumor becomes large or spreads. When detected early, the cancer is easier to treat and more treatment options may be available. Mammography (x-ray of the breasts) is the most effective screening method for detecting breast cancer early.
If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer or are 40 years or older, talk to a health care provider about getting mammograms regularly. Find out when to start getting screened, how often to get screened, and what kind of screenings you may need.
If you would like to learn more about reducing alcohol use or quitting smoking , you may also talk to your provider about available resources.
Make an appointment with a gynecologist to get screened today. You can make an appointment at our OBGYN department by calling (212) 966-0228 for Manhattan or (718) 886-1287 for Queens. Find more information by visiting our OBGYN webpage.
This post is made possible with funding from the NYC Council.