Jan 14, 2012

Surviving Breast Cancer

For the last 10 months I have been on a journey to survive breast cancer. My family and I were diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in March 2010. I say my family and I because every trial, tribulation, and ordeal I have been through since that time, they have been through as well.

We were all in disbelief after the diagnosis. Care progressed quickly within the medical team I was assigned to. Breast cancer is not necessarily a “death sentence”. With early detection and depending upon the treatment, survival rates for Stage II breast cancer is 81-92%. It feels good to be able to say I am a “survivor”. Here are some tips to reduce your risk:

Don’t Smoke and Eat a Healthy Diet

While smoking has not been directly linked to breast cancer, it remains the leading cause of many other types of cancer and appears to be more harmful than most all other known carcinogens combined. The healthier you keep your body, the stronger your immune system and other vital functions will be in a fight against breast cancer. Likewise, eating a healthy diet – one low in saturated fats and simple sugars, high in fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber, and rich in vitamins and nutrients like anti-oxidants, will make your body less susceptible to disease.

Don’t Drink Alcohol, or At Least Be Conservative…

Alcohol consumption appears to have a well-documented link to increased risk for breast cancer. In a compilation of recent studies, it was shown that the equivalent of only two drinks a day increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 21%!

Exercise Regularly…

Scientists have recently discovered a link between a woman’s risk for breast cancer and regular exercise. While the scientific community is not yet fully aware of why regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risks, many believe it is due to exercise’s effect on hormones and overall well- being. The truth is, exercise benefits almost every system of the body. For your health, exercise regularly! (If you have not exercised vigorously for a year or more, you may wish to consult with a doctor prior to beginning any new routine.)

Get a mammogram!

(Especially for those over 30 or with a history of cancer in their family) Because there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, a regular mammogram is the best way to detect cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection through mammography screening can greatly improve a woman’s chances for successful treatment, treatment options, and ultimately increase survival. A mammogram can detect up to 90% of breast cancers where there were no other detectable signs or symptoms.

Source: breastcancersociety.org, komen.org



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