As a woman, looking after your breasts is vitally important not only to check for lumps, but also as they can alert you to something being wrong with your body. Changes to your breasts, nipples or slight soreness can all be signs to look out for.
Your breast health is extremely important, every year an estimated 12 million new cases of breast cancer are detected across the world. However, if you know a little information about breast health and how best to look after your breasts you can easily spot any changes and seek medical advice to avoid potential worry and health problems.
In addition to breast cancer, a number of other medical conditions can affect the breasts. Other breast health issues are; Fibroadenoma and related tumours (usually small, benign (non-cancerous) tumours that comprise of connective tissue and Epithelia Proliferation), breast cysts (fluid-filled pouches in the breasts), fibrocystic breast disease, Sclerosing Adenosis, Periductal Mastitis and nipple discharge.
Although many of the above mentioned breast health conditions are relatively rare, it is important to keep an eye out for any symptoms in order to get the best possible treatment early. So, how can you monitor your breast health in the long-term?
The first important tip is to perform breast self-examination on a frequent basis. It is generally recommended that you self-exam your breasts at the same time each month. If you are unsure as to how you should go about breast self-examination, ask your doctor or other medical professional for advice, or you can visit a number of great websites online with practical breast self-examination tips.
Don’t forget that you will know your body better than anyone; so if you do spot anything that seems unusual (any bumps or lumps, pain or discharge), it is very wise to visit your doctor straight away to rule out any underlying medical issues. Older women are also encouraged to have frequent mammogram and breast exams at their doctors, as generally speaking, the risk of many illnesses that affect the breasts can increase with age.
You should receive information automatically from your doctor about attending a mammogram when you reach a certain age, however, if you prefer you can contact them directly for more information on the recommended age for the procedure.
Diet is also vitally important for maintaining good breast health. As they say, you are what you eat, so keep an eye on your diet and weight. Make sure that you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet and keep an eye on your calorie intake to avoid putting on weight. If you feel that your diet may be lacking in certain vitamins, minerals or nutrients, it’s wise to take a vitamin supplement. For more information about the kind of supplements that you should be taking, ask your doctor or a dietician/nutritionist for more advice.
Finally, make sure that you keep up a regular exercise routine as this can also help you to maintain good breast and overall body health. You don’t have to hit the gym every day to get the best results, a simple brisk stroll every day can be sufficient for you to maintain your energy levels and keep your circulation levels optimal.
Just remember that if you perform any exercise, to support your breasts properly with a sports bra that fits and that can easily be adjusted to provide a secure fitting.