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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 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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