Katia Khoury, M.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, emphasizes that screenings, warning signs, and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for cancer prevention. Regular screenings are vital as they can detect cancer at early stages, even before any physical symptoms appear. Treatment is more effective the earlier the stage of the cancer. Self-exams and annual visits to gynecologists for physical breast exams are also recommended.
During self-exams, it’s important to note any changes in the breasts such as lumps, skin changes, dimpling, indentations, nipple discharge, or bumps under the armpit. If any of these symptoms are observed, it’s advised to consult a healthcare provider immediately.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial as obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. Moderate alcohol consumption is advised, as excessive drinking increases the risk. Other recommendations include regular exercise, limiting red meat intake, and increasing vegetable consumption. A Mediterranean diet is suggested for its benefits, which include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
For women over 40, maintaining good bone health and adequate vitamin D levels is also recommended.