Breast Cancer Prevention: A Guide for Filipinas
How to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. Excess body fat increases estrogen levels, which can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Women who are overweight or obese should aim to lose weight through healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
Regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Exercise helps to regulate hormones, such as estrogen, which can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. You should aim to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, or swimming.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The more alcohol a woman drinks, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer. Try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.
It is important to avoid smoking if you want to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for many different types of cancer, including breast cancer. If you are a smoker, it is never too late to quit. Your doctor can provide you with resources to help you quit smoking. And if you currently don’t, try your best to stay away from it, including secondhand smoke.
Know Your Family History
While the majority of breast cancers are not inherited, a small percentage are related to changes in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. If you have a family history of breast cancer, particularly in a close relative under age 50 or in multiple family members, talk to your doctor or a genetic counselor to determine if you should undergo further testing.
Get Regular Mammograms
Mammograms are an essential screening tool for breast cancer. The Philippine Cancer Society recommends that women undergo a mammogram every two years from the age of 40. Filipina women should talk to their healthcare provider about their risk of breast cancer and the appropriate screening schedule for their needs. Life and health insurance companies also often cover the cost of mammograms, so be sure to check with your insurance provider.
Breast cancer is a serious health concern for Filipinas. While some risk factors cannot be changed, many lifestyle changes and habits can reduce a woman's risk of developing this disease. By following the best practices outlined above, Filipinas can take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer.
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