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How to reduce breast cancer risk?

It is possible to reduce breast cancer risk significantly by understanding the factors that contribute to it and taking proactive steps against them. Whether you're seeking preventive measures for yourself or advocating for a loved one, arming yourself with information is the first step towards reducing breast cancer risk and boosting overall well-being.

Breast cancer is known to be one of the most prevalent forms of cancer affecting women globally, with millions diagnosed each year. While this statistic may seem daunting, many of these cases are preventable through proactive measures and early detection. 

Understanding risk factors for breast cancer

Breast cancer risk factors include a range of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle elements. Age remains one of the most significant risk factors, and the likelihood of breast cancer increases as you grow older. 

Additionally, a family history of breast cancer, particularly among immediate family or close relatives, heightens your risk. Specifically, women with genetic mutations, such as those in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, face a higher risk of breast cancer. 

Your risk may also increase in case of hormonal influences, such as early menstruation, late menopause, or hormone replacement therapy. Other factors that may contribute to breast cancer development include dense breast tissue and environmental factors like exposure to radiation or certain chemicals.

Moreover, lifestyle choices, including alcohol consumption, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle, can elevate risk levels.

However, it's essential to note that while these factors can increase susceptibility, they do not guarantee the development of breast cancer. Understanding these risk factors empowers women to make informed decisions about their health and adopt preventive measures proactively.

Reducing your risk of breast cancer

Reducing the risk of breast cancer involves adopting a multifaceted approach that addresses various aspects of health and lifestyle. By implementing proactive measures and making informed choices, individuals can minimize their risk and promote breast health. 

Key risk reduction strategies include knowing your body well so you can recognize changes and making healthy lifestyle choices. These proactive measures can help safeguard your health in the long term.

Know your body

Being familiar with your own breast tissue and performing regular breast self-exams is a crucial aspect of breast health. By knowing how your breasts normally look and feel, you can more easily detect any changes that may occur. 

Regular breast self-exams empower you to take an active role in your breast health and facilitate early detection of any abnormalities.

Here's what you need to know about breast self-exams.

How to perform a breast self-exam

To perform a breast self-exam, start by visually inspecting your breasts in the mirror and note any changes in size, shape, or contour for each breast. Next, raise your arms overhead and look for the same changes. 

Then, lie down and use the pads of your fingers to feel for lumps or abnormalities in your breast tissue and near the armpit. Pay attention to any areas that feel different from the surrounding tissue or that cause discomfort.

What to look for during breast self-exam

While performing a breast self-exam, be on the lookout for any of the following changes: 

  • Lumps or thickening in breast tissue
  • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Nipple discharge
  • Changes in nipple appearance

If you notice any such abnormality or feel unsure about how to conduct a self-exam, be sure to schedule a consultation with your healthcare provider.

When to perform a breast self-exam

It's best to perform a breast self-exam once a month, ideally a few days after your menstrual cycle ends. This is when your breasts are less likely to be tender or swollen, and an exam will be more accurate. If you no longer menstruate, choose a specific day each month to perform the exam.

Breast cancer screening

Breast cancer screening involves tests and procedures used to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before symptoms develop. This can include:

  • Mammography: Mammograms are X-ray images of the breast tissue and are the gold standard for breast cancer screening. They can help detect tumors that are too small to be felt and can identify abnormalities in breast tissue. For women with average risk, annual mammograms are recommended starting at age 40. For those with a higher risk or genetic factors, screening may begin earlier, often in their 30s.
  • Clinical Breast Exam (CBE): During a clinical breast exam, your healthcare provider examines the breasts and surrounding areas for any signs of abnormalities, such as lumps or changes in texture. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic health exam by a healthcare professional.
  • Breast MRI: In cases where the risk of breast cancer is high, breast MRI may be recommended as an additional screening tool. MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the breast tissue.
  • Genetic testing: For those with a family history of breast cancer or known genetic mutations, genetic testing may be recommended to assess risk and inform screening recommendations.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests for some specific cancer antigens (CA) may be used in some cases, such as for women with a higher risk of breast cancer. Discuss with your doctor if a blood test might be appropriate for your individual situation.

Breast cancer screening should be performed regularly as recommended by healthcare professionals based on your risk factors and guidelines. Individual screening decisions should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, taking into account your personal medical history, risk factors, and preferences. 

Remember that regular screening can help detect breast cancer at an early stage when it's most treatable, improving outcomes and reducing mortality rates.

Genetic testing and counseling

Genetic testing for breast cancer involves analyzing DNA to identify specific mutations or alterations that may increase your risk of developing breast cancer. If you have close relatives who were diagnosed at a young age or who carry known genetic mutations (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2), you may benefit from genetic testing.

Genetic testing typically involves providing a blood or saliva sample, which is then analyzed in a laboratory to identify any genetic mutations associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Genetic counseling is an essential component of the testing process. It involves meeting with a trained counselor who can help you understand your test results, assess your cancer risk, and explore preventive options.

Healthy lifestyle choices

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is an important factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer and promoting overall well-being. Lifestyle choices that can help lower breast cancer risk include:

  • Maintaining a balanced diet: Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit the consumption of processed foods, red meat, and sugary beverages, which have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity: Exercise has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk by helping to control weight and hormone levels. Regular exercise of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity is recommended each week. 
  • Limiting alcohol consumption: Limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women. Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, so moderation is key.
  • Avoiding tobacco use: If you smoke, quit. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, as well as other types of cancer and health conditions.

Making healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce breast cancer risk and contribute to overall health and well-being.

How RGCC can contribute

At RGCC, we take great pride in playing a part in the breast cancer prevention and risk reduction process. Our advanced liquid biopsy-based tests and personalized insights are uncontested leaders in the field of cancer screening.

Our early screening test offers higher sensitivity and specificity than other cancer screening methods and can help detect cancer even before symptoms appear. This revolutionary screening test goes beyond established norms, comprehensively analyzing the presence of cancer even before your body shows any signs.

Moreover, specialized granular-level information revealed through our CTC tests can help identify cancer at its very earliest stage when it has the best chance for recovery.

Contact us

Discover groundbreaking testing solutions pioneered by RGCC, which enable better breast cancer detection and care. 

Our state-of-the-art research centers employ advanced tests and protocols to offer a comprehensive yet personalized view of each patient’s genetics, physiology, and immune profiles. We offer a paradigm shift in cancer care technology and protocols.

Start your journey to empowering information for your cancer treatment by contacting us online

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Accreditations
IAS Accreditation
Testing Laboratory
View TL-836 Certificate
EN ISO 22000: 2018
No: 20101200002689
View Certificate
IAS Accreditation
Medical Laboratory
View ML-103 Certificate
ISO 22000: 2018
No: 20101200002689
View Certificate
ISO 45001: 2018
No: 20152220006395
View CertificatePolicy
ISO 22716: 2007
No: 20019220006394
View Certificate
CLIA ID Number
99D2283882
View Certificate
College of American Pathologists 
Certificate of Accreditation
CAP#: 9239089 
CLIA#: 99D2283882 
View Certificate
Certificate of GMP Compliance
No. 512863-102689104
View Certificate
Accreditation Certificate of Foreign Cell Processor - Japanese Government
View Certificate
EOF GMP COSMETICS – SUPPLEMENTS
View Certificate
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