October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In this post, we want to explore what breast cancer is and look at a few ways you can try to prevent this condition.

What is Breast Cancer?

According to the CDC, breast cancer is a disease that can affect any area of the breast in both men and women. When breast cancer occurs, the cells within the breast grow out of control.

Types of Breast Cancers

There are a few different types of breast cancer and the type developed is dependent on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The most commonly diagnosed types of breast cancer are:

  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma- with this type, the cancer cells begin in the lobules. They then spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by.
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma- with this type of breast cancer, the cancer cells originate in the ducts of the breasts, which then spread to the outside of the ducts and into other parts of the breast tissue.

There are a few other uncommon types and any type of breast cancer can spread to surrounding body parts, including the lungs.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer

There are several practices you can engage in to help improve your chances of avoiding breast cancer. These tips are especially important for people who have family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight- being overweight or obese can really amplify your risk of developing breast cancer. So, it is essential that you maintain a healthy weight. You can speak to your primary healthcare provider about starting an efficient, realistic, and healthy weight loss journey.
  2. Get physically active- a sedentary lifestyle is the number one contributor to many diseases, so to combat this risk factor, we recommend regular physical activity. Get up and engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This can help you maintain a healthy weight. Remember to speak to your doctor before starting any exercise programs, especially if you have an underlying illness.
  3. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake- alcohol and cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that destroy cells within your body each time you drink or smoke. Additionally, their harmful properties encourage the development of certain cells and processes that can lead to breast cancer. Try reducing the amount you drink or smoke until you quit completely.

These are just a few of the practices you can engage in to secure your breast health. Remember, anyone can be affected so, your health is your responsibility.

If you are 40+, we encourage you to schedule your yearly mammogram during the month of your birthday by calling (712) 722-8116.

To learn more about our imaging services, visit the Diagnostic Imaging page on our website or click here for information on our 3D mammography services.