Breast Cancer ~ Can I Prevent it? (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

Hello, out there all you lovely people. I hope you and yours are well and if not that you find all the support you need.

Today I want to write about a topic that probably many women dread: Breast Cancer!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the International Agency For Research on Cancer offers excellent information on Breast Cancer all over the world. Did you know that Breast Cancer has become the most diagnosed type of cancer in 2020? It exceeded lung cancer for the first time.

Many of you might be shrugging your shoulders saying:” Well, I can’t do much about it. If I get it I get it” but that could be quite a misunderstanding. There might be genetic factors in your life that you can’t do anything about. Women who come from families with a history of breast cancer often have a higher risk than those who haven’t had breast cancer in their families. Also, if you live in a low- or middle-income country you have less access to diagnosis and/or treatment. These factors are not in your hand.

However, how much you drink alcohol, how much you exercise and what you eat is very much in your hands. Also, how seriously you take your monthly self-examination and if you find something strange to go and have it checked out is absolutely in your hands.

My mother had breast cancer which spread and eventually killed her. She was a smoker, liked alcohol and wasn’t the best when it came to exercise. And she did not go to a doctor when she found a lump. Sorry, if you feel that “killed her” is too strong an expression but that is how it feels to me. That is why it is important to me to raise awareness.

This poster by the IARC shows the five lifestyle changes you can consider to lower your risk of getting breast cancer:

Now, I have to admit that I do not have the answers on how you can motivate yourself to do those changes because I only walk the dog daily but do not do any other exercise, I like a drink every now and then and my weight is just on the edge on becoming overweight. Despite having seen, how chemotherapy and radiotherapy affected both her but also her family’s life I haven’t found the miracle solution to get over myself and become healthier.

But I feel writing and talking about it is a start. I suspect the trouble is thinking: “Oh, it’s not in my hands anyway. It’s an illness I get or I don’t get” is easier to deal with than thinking: “Oops, it’s my responsibility to keep the risk to get breast cancer as low as I can”. I don’t think it’s fully in your hand to avoid it but it’s in your hand to lower the risk and that could be incentive enough to get going.

What do you think and/or feel?

Resources on Breast cancer:

Alcohol and breast cancer ā€“ how big is the risk? (Cancer Research UK)

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners on Tobacco and Breast Cancer

American Cancer Society on Weight & Breast Cancer

Cancer India on Diet and Cancer (in general)

National Cancer Institute on Exercise and Breast Cancer

Pink for Africa

National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia

Europa Donna ~ European Breast Cancer Coalition

Breast Cancer India Net

Wishing You a Thoughtful Thursday

and remember:

You can do it!

Liz

2 thoughts on “Breast Cancer ~ Can I Prevent it? (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

  1. Sandee says:

    I take this seriously too. I get my mammogram every year. We need to take care of ourselves and it’s so easy to fall into not doing the right things.

    Have a fabulous day, Liz. ā™„

    • Liz Halton says:

      Absolutely. I take the check-ups seriously too but it’s a lot harder with the healthy living. And that seems to be so important to reduce the risk. May your day be fabulous too šŸ¤—

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