At Curtis Helms Insurance, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is particularly poignant for us since the wife of our founder’s youngest son, Chris (a key member of our insurance team), passed away from breast cancer in 2018. In light of recent events and in honor of this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are a few tips for preventing and checking for this type of cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight—It is easy to dismiss this recommendation because it gets said so often, but keeping your weight in check is an important goal.
- Stay active—Women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis have a lower risk of breast cancer. Staying active is also a great way to stay within a healthy weight range!
- Eat healthfully—Consuming a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of cancer. You should also keep alcohol consumption at a moderate level.
- Don’t smoke—In addition to lowering your quality of life, smoking increases the risk of many different cancers, breast cancer included.
- If possible, breastfeed—Studies show that breastfeeding for at least one year or more can lower the risk of breast cancer.
- Use birth control pills carefully—While birth control pills do offer benefits, women who take them have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. This risk increases the older the woman is.
- Stay away from post-menopausal hormones—Avoid using post-menopausal hormones to prevent chronic diseases, like heart disease and osteoporosis, on a long-term basis.
- Research your family history—If breast cancer runs in your family, you should take special steps to protect yourself. A physician or genetic counselor can help you understand how your genes could affect your risk of breast cancer.
- Make screening a priority—While mammography doesn’t prevent breast cancer, it can help identify it in its early stages. Starting at age 40, it is recommended that most women have yearly mammograms.