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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 July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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