Thank you so much for visiting our blog! I'm Natalia, Founder & Chief of Happiness here at Level Up. We are on a mission to connect, educate and inspire women to create something beautiful through our pop-up classes and blog. So grab a cup of your favorite drink, kick your feet up and get ready to Level Up with us!
Breast Cancer: Five Things You Can Do
October 21, 2020
October is here and all of a sudden we find ourselves on the quest for the perfect pumpkin and dusting off the slow cooker, but it’s also the best time of year to be reminded of the importance of breast health. This month, and in particular the color pink has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness. It’s more than new uniforms for NFL teams and charity events. It’s acknowledging that this disease will affect many. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2020, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
We’ve rounded up a few tips to help you reduce your risk:
GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR BREASTS
Yup, you read that right! Diagnostic procedures with your healthcare provider can effectively diagnose breast cancer, but it's eye-opening to realize that about 11 percent of all new breast cancer cases in the U.S. are found in women younger than 45! -- this is problematic because screenings are oftentimes not recommended at this age. Performing a monthly self-exam is the best approach so you can alert your doctor if there are any changes.
Whether you’re lying down, standing in front of a mirror, or performing the self-exam in the shower, become familiar with your breasts and how they look and feel. If you feel pain in your breast, notice a change in the shape or size, or experience discharge from your nipple other than breast milk (to include blood), discuss this with your doctor right away.
PRO TIP: SOME OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS HAVE EVEN SET A MONTHLY CALENDAR ALERT AT THE SAME TIME OF THE MONTH TO HELP THEM REMEMBER TO DO THEIR SCREENINGS AND STAY CONSISTENT!
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
We know #quarentine15 isn’t really helping with this one but it turns out carrying excess weight can increase your risk (especially after menopause). Discuss your BMI and goals with your primary care doctor and set a plan. Wondering what is achievable? Experts say if you need to shed a few pounds to get to a healthy-for-you-weight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight over six months is a great place to start.
PRO TIP: EATING FRESH, ORGANIC FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IS A GREAT WAY TO GET HEALTHY BUT SUPER HARD TO DO IF YOU ARE ON A BUDGET OR PRESSED FOR TIME, THAT’S WHY WE LOVE OUR FRIENDS AT MISFITS MARKET, YOU CAN GET YOUR ORGANIC VEGGIES DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR FOR AS LITTLE AS $25/MONTH AND YOU SINCE THEY ARE SOURCED FROM FOOD OVERAGES YOU GET BONUS POINTS FOR HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT. (USE CODE FOR 30% OFF YOUR FIRST BOX COOKWME-AB2BLK)
LACE UP YOUR SNEAKERS
Make a plan to be active for at least 2 hours with moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Limiting sedentary behavior is the goal.
PRO TIP: IF YOU HAVE STANDING MEETINGS CONSIDER MAKING THEM WALKING MEETINGS DAILY! WE ALSO LOVE MOVING OUR BODIES TO ZUMBA CLASSES ONLINE AND YOGA WITH ADRIENNE FOR A FREE WORKOUT AT HOME.
LIMIT HAPPY HOURS
Try to cut out alcohol or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than once per day. Curious as to the reason? There is research to support that alcohol can damage the DNA in cells, thereby increasing the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol may also increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
PRO-TIP: STILL WANNA ENJOY AN AWESOME MOCKTAIL WITH FRIENDS? TRY A NEW OLD FASHIONED MADE WITH SPIRITLESS A NON-ALCOHOLIC BOURBON MADE RIGHT HERE IN LOUISVILLE, KY, DID WE MENTION THEY HAVE AN ALL-FEMALE FOUNDING TEAM TOO?!
TALK TO YOUR FAMILY
We hope this pandemic time is helping you get closer to your family through zoom and video, now is a great opportunity to learn more about your family’s medical history. It’s an important conversation and one that you’ll want to share with your healthcare provider. Why? Women (and men) with a family history of breast cancer, especially in a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling), are at increased risk. It may signal the presence of a genetic predisposition and the need for a different plan for screening and risk reduction.
PRO-TIP: THIS IS NEVER AN EASY CONVERSATION BUT HERE ARE A FEW QUESTIONS YOU MAY ASK TO HELP YOU GET STARTED:
• HAVE YOU HAD CANCER? IF SO, HOW OLD WERE YOU, AND WHAT KIND OF CANCER?
•WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CANCER AMONG OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, INCLUDING GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS, UNCLES, NIECES, AND NEPHEWS?
•HAS ANYONE IN THE FAMILY HAD GENETIC TESTING FOR CANCER RISKS? IF SO, WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and was not written to replace a physician's medical assessment and medical judgment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
photo by @thefoodmedic
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Susan G. Komen
WRITTEN BY Kerri MillerAdministrator
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