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Be Breast and Health Aware

Breast Awareness

Whatever your age, size or shape it's important to take care of your breasts. Many women experience a number of changes in their breasts during their monthly cycle and it is important that you learn to notice normal changes throughout the month so that you feel more confident about noticing any changes and abnormalities (usually a lump). Check for:

  • A change in size or contour, or position of the nipple
  • Obvious lumps or thickening, puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • Veins which are more prominent than usual
  • Inflammation or rash on the breast
  • Blood or discharge from the nipple
  • New sensation - Particularly if only in one breast

If you notice anything unusual or have any concerns about any of the symptoms above, we would advise you to see your doctor and seek medical advice. 

 

Physical Activity and Weight Gain

There is increasing evidence to suggest that regular physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer. Ideally physical activity will be performed over a lifetime, but some studies suggest that even if physical activity begins after the menopause, it can still help reduce the risk of developing cancer. You should:

  • Stay healthy and active
  • Engage in moderate exercise for at least 30-60 minutes every day

Nutrition

While studies have not linked specific diets to breast cancer risk, nutrition is still important:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet (daily intake of fat should not exceed 30%)
  • Include fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily food choices
  • Eat the right amount to maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit red meat consumption
  • Reduce alcohol consumption (consuming three or more alcoholic beverages a day increases the risk of breast cancer)

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

There is a very clear connection between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the risk of developing breast cancer.

  • For women who do not have a history of breast cancer it is advisable to discuss the risks and benefits of taking HRT with your doctor in order to make an informed decision as to whether HRT is right for you.
  • HRT is generally not recommended if you have a history of breast cancer as HRT may increase your risk of recurrence of breast cancer. Any decision to take HRT should, therefore, be discussed in detail with your physician.  

If you're worried about anything and would like to chat to one of our Support Line nurses, call us free on 0808 808 1010.