Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Forgot your mammogram in 2020? You're not alone. COVID-19 concerns overshadowed a lot of our regular health screening.
Let's get back on track. Today we'll discuss what you need to know so you can be aware about your breast cancer risk.
💖 Know Your Risk Factors
We all probably know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer. That is because it is the most common cancer in women (other than skin cancer). 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. As women, we are all at risk, but some people have higher risk factors.
You are at greater risk if you have a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer. This would be a parent or sibling, including your father and brothers. Yes, men can get breast cancer, too. I have had male breast cancer patients throughout my career, so it is important for men to see your clinician to check any lumps in your breasts. There are other familial conditions that can increase your chances of getting breast cancer, including Lynch Syndrome. Knowing your family history is so important, but if you don't know your family history, this can be where the screening tool becomes even more handy.
One risk calculator I highly recommend was created by the National Cancer Institute, and it can be found here: https://bcrisktool.cancer.gov/
If you have a lifetime breast cancer risk of over 15%, you may need additional screenings and tests.
That may sound scary to you, but remember, it's just probability. It's not saying that you are going to get cancer. I'm a believer, and I believe that "by His stripes we are healed", and that we should pray for healing. However, I also feel that knowing your risks helps you to see if you need to take actions to intervene.
You can find what you need to know about breast cancer screen from self-exams to imaging like ultrasound and mammograms in the article I wrote for GoodRx.com.
On October 6th I shared General Breast Cancer Risks & screening on IG Live. Catch the replay here:
💖 Decrease Your Risk Factors
You can't change genetic risk factors. However, you can reduce physical and some environmental risk factors through changing your daily habits.
Eat Less Meat- Specifically, decreasing your meat consumption (red meat and processed meat) helps reduce breast cancer risk. In particular, the World Health Organization listed processed meats as carcinogens, cancer-causing agents. This association with carcinogens has been linked with breast cancer. Also, eating red meat more than once a week has been shown with this. Barbecue and grilled meats are associated with increased breast cancer risk.
Eat more veggies- Increase vegetable intake is associated with decreased cancer risk.
Exercise- Just 150 minutes of exercise per week decreases your risk of breast cancer by 12-27% and increases your chance of survival from breast cancer if you do get it!
Drink Less Alcohol- Aim to have <7 drinks a week to maintain your weight and decrease breast cancer risk.
Stress less- Chronic stress is toxic to the body because it stimulates the release of hormones, like cortisol, that promote inflammation.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month I teamed up with several amazing breast cancer warriors to discuss how to decrease your risks on IG live.
Nutrition & Breast Cancer Risk with Dr. Aminah Keats
Fitness & Breast Cancer Risk with Ren Jones, Certified Fitness Traknee
Thriving with Mended Hope, Dr. Tiana’s Journey
When you’re trying to reduce your breast cancer risk, remember you don’t have to change everything at once. Choose one change to make per week and do your best. Any positive change is better than none. And remember to embrace self-compassion on your journey.
💖 35-Mile Challenge
Thank you to everyone for support during the #35milebreastcancerchallenge💖
I walked & ran a combined 80 miles in October🙌🏾 The extra motivation to support #breastcancerwarriors & raise #breastcancerawareness pushed me to go harder after recovering from a knee injury in September.
Special thanks to
💝 JoAnn Krecke
💝 Dr. Madeline Y Sutton
💝 Dr. Cara Pugliese
💝 Deborah Jo
For your generous donations 💞💞
With the Embrace You Weight & Wellness donation match, $320 was raised that will go American Cancer Society breast cancer research.
I go hard during Breast Cancer Awareness month because:
💕Personally & professionally I’ve know too many people (women & men) who’ve been:
▪️Impacted by breast cancer…
▪️Are still impacted by breast cancer…
▪️Will be impacted by breast cancer.
🙏🏾My prayer is that none of us will be impacted by breast cancer. But if you are impacted by breast cancer you’ll be prepared and thrive.
To those who are on your breast cancer thriving journey May you come through triumphantly 💝
In loving memory of the breast cancer warriors at rest.
For more on your weight and breast cancer risk see the Embrace You Blog Post on Obesity and Breast Cancer Risk: https://www.embraceyouweightloss.com/post/obesity-breast-cancer-risk
Join our free community Embrace You To Lasting Wellness & Weight-Loss Facebook Group for support on your wellness journey.