7 Tips for Staying on Top of Your Breast Health

Breast care is relevant to all women. Whether you are at risk of breast cancer or not, your breast health is never something that should be put off or forgotten about.

While breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the U.S., almost all women will experience some form of breast change in their lifetime. The more you know about what your normal, healthy breasts look and feel like, the better you’ll be able to spot any changes.

Here are our top breast care tips for staying on top of your breast health.

Breast-Health-and-Stress-Levels

Breast care tips for monitoring your breast health

It’s always a good idea to take a holistic view of monitoring your breast health, which involves actively screening your breasts along with taking preventative measures.

1. Get strict with routine screening

Routine screening is the best way to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages while still treatable. The American Cancer Society recommends annual or bi-annual mammograms for women 45 and older.

For women with a strong family history of breast cancer or a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, mammogram screening should start at the age of 30, and MRI screening is also recommended.

2. Set a reminder in your calendar for your annual breast check-ups

Life gets busy. You’re likely already juggling a million other things between work commitments, family responsibilities, keeping up your fitness levels and squeezing in social events when you can. Doctor appointments and check-ups can easily fall to the bottom of your to-do list.

Before you forget when your next annual breast health check-up is coming up, set a reminder in your mobile calendar. And don’t set it for when it’s due. Set it for when it’s time to make the appointment. Remember, waiting lists can be up to a few months.

As soon as that reminder pops up, make the booking. Don’t delay it.

See also: Questions to Ask at your Next Breast Screening

3. Do more regular monitoring with Celbrea®

The Celbrea® device helps you stay on top of your regular breast cancer screening. This device aims to add to doctors’ existing standard evaluation protocols with a quick, painless examination. It doesn’t replace a mammogram but gives you a strong indication of your risk and how urgently you’ll need a mammogram or other screening protocol.

Celbrea® helps you take control of your own breast health by giving you a tool to monitor your breasts in the comfort of your home. This device is revolutionary for women based in rural areas with limited access to healthcare and women across the world who are put on waiting lists for doctor appointments.

Learn more about how Celbrea® works.

4. Practice a regular breast self-examination routine

While not the primary method of screening breast cancer, breast self-examinations are the most accessible, effective way to help you monitor your breast health. It’s also something that women of all ages can do, even younger women who don’t yet qualify for regular mammograms.

Get into the routine of doing monthly self-examinations—at the same time in your cycle is usually best. Breastcancer.org shares a five-step process for examining your breast health.

If you notice anything different, strange or concerning about your breasts, talk to your doctor.

5. Start your breast care early

Many women think they only need to start thinking about their breast health after 40. But that’s not true. One of the best breast health tips is starting your breast care early.

It’s important to already start getting acquainted with your breasts in your 20s. Breast tissue is at its most dense and complicated in your 20s. The more familiar you are with how healthy breasts feel, the more likely you will notice a change.

You should also learn about your family history to determine whether you’re a candidate for early screenings or genetic testing, like the BRCA1/2 mutations. It’s essential to be aware of your breast cancer risk factors, including those you can and can’t control. For the risk factors in your control, make sure to do what you can to reduce your risk.

6. Remind the other women in your life

You’ve likely got a community of women around you: sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters, friends, cousins and colleagues. Help encourage them to look after their breast health by sharing your breast care tips and reminding them to schedule their annual mammogram, self-examine and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

As women, we need to support each other throughout all aspects of our lives, including our physical health.

For women preparing for their first mammograms, booking the same appointment slots with other women in your life is a great idea. That way, you can go through the experience together and start the same screening routine. So, each year, between the two (or more) of you, you’ll remember when it’s time to book your next appointment.

7. Adopt healthy habits

Living a healthy lifestyle won’t just improve your breast health but your overall health. It’s well worth putting in an effort to start adopting healthy lifestyle choices.

Regular exercise and healthy eating can reduce breast cancer risk. Thousands of studies over the past 20 years have shown that the more you move, the lower your chances of developing any kind of cancer.

Your diet also has an impact on your breast health. While research around how what we eat might affect our chances of developing breast cancer is going, eating a healthy, balanced diet is always preferable.

Make sure to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, avoid processed foods, limit your fat intake and opt for high-fiber, high-antioxidant foods.

Your healthy habits also extend to your mental health. Living with high levels of stress and anxiety impacts not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Put certain practices in place to manage your stress levels.

Action is more effective than reaction

When it comes to breast health tips, the most important recommendation is to be active in your breast care—from being aware of your family history to regular self-examinations, annual screenings (when the time comes) and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Breast care is relevant to all women, not only those at risk. This is also your reminder to encourage your friends, sisters, moms, aunts and daughters to pay attention to their breast care as well. We’re always stronger as a community.

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