October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an international event designed to bring focus to the disease, its treatment and prevention. Dr. Alqulali believes that the best patient is an informed patient, and she works to educate patients on ways to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
One of the ways women can reduce their risk is through lifestyle changes. Some changes patients can make include:
Eating a Healthy Diet. Healthy eating can reduce the risk of developing cancer by 30 percent. A healthy diet includes whole, unprocessed foods and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats.
Get to a Healthy Weight. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is one of the top strategies women can employ to lower their risk of breast and other types of cancer.
Exercise. Exercise improves overall health and contributes to weight loss. Breast cancer researchers suggest a workout regimen of at least 150 minutes of cardio or aerobic activity per week as an ideal way to help lower your chances of developing breast cancer.
Nix Negative Behaviors. Behaviors like smoking or overconsumption of alcohol significantly increase your risk of developing cancer and other health conditions. Dr. Alqulali suggests that you quit smoking and limit yourself to less than one 5-ounce drink per day. E-cigarettes are not a safe option, either, as they may contain nicotine that negatively impacts your heart health.
Limit Exposure to Carcinogens. One way you can reduce risk is to limit your exposure to carcinogens like radiation, mercury and environmental pollutants.
Schedule Mammograms. Regularly scheduled mammograms are critical for catching lumps. Talk to Dr. Alqulali about your family history, as well as your health history, to determine when and how frequently you should have mammograms or other types of imaging.
Self-Exams. In addition to imaging, you should perform self-breast exams each month. Report changes in your breasts like lumps, pain or redness in the breast or nipple, discharge, changes in the skin of the breast or nipple, or swollen lymph nodes to Dr. Alqulali immediately.
For more information about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, prevention tips and to discuss your risk, call Dr. Alqulali today at 888-716-0559.