Prevention : Women, go the Angelina way

Prevention : Women, go the Angelina way

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie boldly went ahead to undergo a double mastectomy (surgical removal of both...

dr ch mohanHollywood actress Angelina Jolie boldly went ahead to undergo a double mastectomy (surgical removal of both the breasts) to prevent breast cancer. Here is what women need to do to detect breast cancer

- Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a women is in good health.

- Clinical breast exam (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.

- Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

- Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year. Women at moderately increased risk (15% to 20% lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram. Yearly MRI screening is not recommended for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15%.

Risk factors

Weight Being overweight is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, especially for women after menopause.

Diet Diet is a suspected risk factor for many types of cancer, including breast cancer, but studies are yet to show which types of foods increase the risk. It's a good idea to restrict sources of red meat and other animal fats (including dairy fat in cheese, milk, and ice cream), because they may contain hormones, other growth factors, antibiotics, and pesticides. A low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables is generally recommended.

Exercise Engage in 45-60 minutes of physical exercise five or more days a week.

Exposure to oestrogen Because the female hormone oestrogen stimulates breast cell growth, exposure to oestrogen over long periods of time, without any breaks, can increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of these risk factors are: Taking combined hormone replacement therapy (oestrogen and progesterone; HRT) for several years, or taking oestrogen alone for more than 10 years; being overweight and regularly drinking alcohol.

Oral contraceptive use Using oral contraceptives (birth control pills) appears to slightly increase a woman's risk for breast cancer, but only for a limited period of time. There is no proof that stress and anxiety can increase breast cancer risk. However, anything you can do to reduce your stress and to enhance your comfort can have a major effect on your quality of life.

(The doctor is MS (Gen), DNB (Surg), Mch (Surg, Onco), FRCS (Edin) Diploma in lap Surg (France)A Chief Surgical OncologistA Vamsy1964@gmail.comA 9848011421)

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