October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! During this month we are reminded of the many ways we can empower women to maintain optimal breast health and prevent the occurrence of breast diseases.
Common breast health concerns include:
- Personal or Family History of Breast Cancer
- Fibrocystic Breast Changes
- Breast Tenderness
- Abnormal Mammograms or Concerns on Breast Exam
Risk factors of breast cancer:
- Heredity – 5-10% of breast cancers. Having a first degree relative with a history of breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk
- Estrogen Exposure – use of hormonal birth control or synthetic HRT
- Obesity – largely due to fat cell production of estrogen • Alcohol Intake – increases with more than 1 drink per day
- Diet –Plant based diets can decrease risk by as much as 30%
- Vitamin D Deficiency – supplementation is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer
- Exercise – women who do not exercise regularly have 4x the risk
- Fibrocystic Changes
Tips to prevent fibrocystic changes and cancer include:
- Check Vitamin D level and supplement as recommended.
- Balance Your Hormones - Hormone balance plays an important role in maintaining healthy breasts. The hormones progesterone and estrogen both impact breast tissue. Estrogen is important for cell growth and breast development. Progesterone is a protective hormone and helps slow tissue growth. When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, breast tissue is likely to be healthy. When out of balance symptoms often appear.
- Lifestyle Management - Load up on anti-oxidants like resveratrol, green tea, iodine and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Avoid processed foods and trans-fats. Get regular exercise.
- Thermography – A 15-minute, non-invasive, radiation-free exam to evaluate breast physiology and uncover early, subtle changes that may increase your risk. This exam does not replace regular mammogram screening.
- Breast Exams - Monthly Self-Breast Exams and Yearly Breast Exam by your healthcare provider are a must.
Carolina Integrative Medicine is Currently Offering Our Breast Thermography Screening for $99.00 if booked in October.