Breast Health and What You Need to Know

How to lower your risk of Breast Cancer:

Eat Heathy: Research shows eating a diet high in fat increases the risk of breast cancer. Reduce your saturated fat intake to 20 grams or less per day and avoid trans fat completely.

Fat cells in the body store high levels of estrogen, which increase the threat of breast cancer. Work to keep your weight at a healthy level.

Stay Active: Get active for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical active per day to help decrease your body fat and the amount of estrogen in your body. Physical active also strengthens your immune system, which enhances your body’s ability to recognize and eliminate early cancer cells.

Don’t Smoke: Just say no! Smoking exposes the body to carcinogens and  and accelerates cancer tumor growth. Studies show people who smoke during their teen years significantly increase their risk for breast cancer compared to people who don’t.

Don’t consume Alcohol: Studies show that drinking alcohol increases your risk for breast cancer. 

Limit hormone therapy/birth control use: Use of oral contraceptives and hormonal therapy have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast Feed if you can and try to have your kids before 40 if possible: Women who have children earlier in life have a reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those who have children after age 35 or not at all. (Don't feel pressured to follow this)

Know your breasts (look and feel your breast everyday to know your normal)

Know your risks/family history of breast cancer

Talk to your doctor regarding any changes in your breast

 

  

Dense Breast Tissue Increases Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Dense breast tissue does not refer to how heavy the breast are. When viewed on a mammogram, females with dense breasts have more dense tissue than fatty tissue.

Supportive breast tissue can be dense and fatty tissue can be nondense.

On a mammogram, nondense breast tissue appears dark and transparent. Dense breast tissue appears as a solid white area on a mammogram, which makes it difficult to see through. Females with dense breasts have more dense tissue than fatty tissue. 

Dense Breast has a greater chance in developing breast cancer because it is hard for the doctor to detect on a mammogram. 

There are different levels of breast density. Below is a reporting system called Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS)
  • A: Almost entirely fatty indicates that the breasts are almost entirely composed of fat. About 1 in 10 women has this result.
  • B: Scattered areas of fibroglandular density indicates there are some scattered areas of density, but the majority of the breast tissue is nondense. About 4 in 10 women have this result.
  • C: Heterogeneously dense indicates that there are some areas of nondense tissue, but that the majority of the breast tissue is dense. About 4 in 10 women have this result.
  • D: Extremely dense indicates that nearly all of the breast tissue is dense. About 1 in 10 women has this result.

In general, women with breasts that are classified as heterogeneously dense or extremely dense are considered to have dense breasts. About half of women undergoing mammograms have dense breasts.