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Every Woman Needs To Know This Professional Advice on Preventing Breast Cancer

Every Woman Needs To Know This Professional Advice on Preventing Breast Cancer

While we may not know what causes breast cancer exactly, we are privy to some pretty easy treatments and lifestyle changes that can prevent breast cancer. In this article, we’re covering 10 pieces of professional advice that will help you and/or the women in your lives reduce the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and live healthier lives. The best part is that this advice comes directly from health professionals. Take a look:

1. Perform monthly breast self-exams.

One of the most common ways to prevent breast cancer, self-exams can be done in the shower, lying down or in front of the mirror. If you feel a lump or are just unsure of what you’re examining, it’s best to schedule a mammogram with your physician.

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” – John Hopkins Medical Center

If you need a mammogram, but can’t afford one, The National Breast Cancer Foundation hosts a National Mammography Program where they partner with medical facilities across the country to provide free services.

2. Diet and lifestyle.

Another easy way to prevent breast cancer is to develop a healthy diet and lifestyle. This means eating clean, exercising regularly and drinking lots of water. According to the NHS UK, “Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet and, although there are no definite conclusions at the moment, there are benefits for women who maintain a healthy weight, do regular exercise and who have a low intake of saturated fat and alcohol. ” If you’re interested in jump starting a more active lifestyle, use their Healthy Weight Calculator to learn what your caloric intake should be.

3. Breastfeeding.

When women are breastfeeding, they don’t regularly ovulate and their estrogen levels remain stable. Professionals don’t know if this is directly linked to preventing breast cancer, however, studies have shown that breastfeeding women are less likely to develop breast cancer.

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4. Reduce your risk with treatment.

Treatment is available to reduce your risk of breast cancer if your risk of developing it is higher. Risk level is determined by your families health history, your age, and the results of genetic tests. The main treatments to reduce or prevent breast cancer are mastectomy – which is surgery to remove the breasts – and medication.

5. Mastectomy.

A mastectomy is a surgery that removes one or both breasts altogether. The risk of breast cancer can be reduced up to 90% once a mastectomy is performed, as it’s supposed to remove as much breast tissue as possible. Some women have breast reconstruction during the mastectomy operation or on another date.

6. Cut down alcohol intake.

In 2000, the National Institutes of Health listed the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a “known human carcinogen” for the first time. Prevent breast cancer by not drinking as much alcohol or any at all as doing so only increases your chances of becoming a victim. Have a ‘mocktail’ instead.

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7. Say Goodbye to Hormones.

When it comes to hormones, Dr. Oz advises us to “Take it for as long as you need it, but probably less than five years is reasonable.” Most women use hormone therapy to cope with irritability, hot flashes and trouble sleeping. However, a recent study shows that taking hormones may increase the risk of breast cancer. If you or your doctor don’t recognize symptoms of menopause, it’s best to skip to skip hormones altogether.

8. Medication.

Tamoxifen and raloxifene are two estrogen-blocking medications designed for women who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Both medications can be used in women who’ve been through menopause, but women who haven’t should only take tamoxifen.

9. Control your BMI.

“For a woman who weighs over 175 pounds, the chances of breast cancer are about 25 percent higher than someone who weighs 132 pounds,” says Dr. Oz. Prevent breast cancer by first knowing your BMI and then striving to keep it under 25. Obese women are more likely to die from breast cancer as it’s often detected in the last stage for them.

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10. Refrain from Smoking.

A Canadian panel of experts recently revealed that smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. When women start smoking at a young age, they’re 20% more likely to develop breast cancer while continuously smoking increases the risk by 30%. The role smoking has in breast cancer is slightly unclear, but its better to play it safe and refrain from it altogether.

Featured photo credit: PARSHOTAM LAL TANDON via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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