Stay alert, stay healthy

By Liu Zhihua ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-10-23 09:43:12

Healthy lifestyles that help reduce breast cancer risk combine eating and living well.

Stay alert, stay healthy

Women are encouraged to consume whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, seaweed and legumes are highly advised.

Maintain a healthy weight. Reduce alcohol intake.

Have a positive outlook and face life's difficulties with optimism.

Do not use skin-care and makeup products that have estrogen. Makeup products that contain heavy metals are also not advisable.

Do not take estrogen medication without professional direction.

Symptoms of breast cancer include changes in how the breasts and nipples look and feel, such as dimpling, swelling, shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only) or suddenly inverted nipples.

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Such symptoms are not always due to cancer, but it is wise to consult a doctor if there are any symptoms.

Early detection of breast cancer greatly increases the chances of survival.

Monthly breast self-examinations make women familiar with the shape and feel of their breasts, and thus can help identify any changes.

There are three ways to do a self-exam: in front of a mirror, in a shower or lying down.

During a shower, stand and lift the right arm over your head, use the fingers on your left hand to feel around the entire left breast area in circular motions, from the outside to the center, to feel for any lump, hardened knot or thickening. Repeat on the right breast area.

The best time for a self-exam is a week after your period ends.

Be sure to see a doctor if any difference is noticed.

Mammograms can detect tumors before they can be felt, but due to the potential risks of exposure to radiation, they are not advisable for women under 35. Those over 40 should have a mammogram done once a year.


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