Let’s be clear. Breast cancer prevention CANNOT be totally guaranteed — at least not yet. However, there are steps that women can take that will significantly decrease the risk of getting breast cancer as well as greatly increase the chances of surviving it should breast cancer be contracted.
Let’s discuss preventive measures first. If you avoid the use of alcohol, if you exercise regularly, and if you maintain a healthy body weight, you will be decreasing your risk of getting breast cancer. Breast-feeding your baby for several months after he is born seems to also reduce the risk of breast cancer. Avoiding the use of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) after a hysterectomy or menopause is yet another way to decrease the risk of contracting breast cancer. Everybody knows that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of all kinds of cancers, so never smoking or quitting smoking can also decrease your risk of breast cancer.
It is important to note that just because a woman drinks alcohol, fails to exercise, is obese, never breast feeds, takes HRT drugs and smokes cigarettes as well does NOT mean that she is doomed to get breast cancer. These are merely risk factors that are within the power of a woman to change for herself in order to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
I believe in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”….but let’s talk about cure anyway.
The number one key to curing breast cancer is early detection. The earlier that breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances are for curing it. Yes, breast cancer CAN be cured.
Some women are at a much greater risk for developing breast cancer than others, and through no fault of their own. Women who have a family history of breast cancer (a mother, a daughter, or a sister who have had breast cancer) are at a much higher risk level than other women, and with that risk factor, it is important that women and their doctors to be extraordinarily vigilant.