Did you know the chance of a woman developing breast cancer during her life is a little less than 1 in 8, according to the American Cancer Society? And although less likely, men can also develop breast cancer. In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve compiled a list of simple tips you can implement to help care for your breasts all year round.

1. Perform monthly breast self-exams – Follow the tips on this diagram to ensure early detection.

2. Receive regular mammograms – Follow the CDC’s screening guidance to determine the best course of action if you’re over a certain age or have with one or more risk factors.

3. Wear a properly fit bra – Use a sports bra for exercising and make sure you are measured properly for the best fit for any bra.

Lifestyle changes and maintaining your overall health, such as those listed below, will also contribute to breast cancer prevention.

  1. Maintain a safe weight and avoid obesity – According to the CDC, being overweight or having obesity are linked with a higher risk of getting 13 types of cancer, making up over 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States each year.
  2. Exercise regularly – The American Heart Association recommends that individuals do moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.
  3. Reduce fat intake and eat fruits, vegetables and other high fiber foods – Visit the Consulate Family Cookbook for recipe ideas.
  4. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum – Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as breast cancer, and other serious problems like mental health issues.
  5. Stop smoking – Smoking is the main culprit in heart disease, strokes, bronchitis and emphysema, and gastric ulcers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and various diseases including breast cancer.

If you have any symptoms of breast cancer, such as those outlined by the CDC, you should speak to your doctor. Also, if you have a familial history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer, or have no children or your first child after age 30, be sure to follow the guidelines for an increased risk of breast cancer.

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