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How Can We Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Prevention Patient Version

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Cancerprevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will reduce the burden of cancer and lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases. Our genes, lifestyle, and the environment around us work together to increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer. Each persons cancer risk is made up of a combination of these factors.

Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. Forexample, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for sometypes of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it doesnot mean that you will not get cancer.

Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:

  • Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
  • Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
  • Taking medicine to treat a precancerouscondition or to keep cancer from starting.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors You Cant Change

While a persons risk of breast cancer can be increased due to certain lifestyle factors, there are factors that people have no control over . Although these may increase your risk of developing breast cancer, having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop cancer. Having no known risk factors also does not guarantee that you will never develop cancer.While non-modifiable risk factors cannot be changed, you can still reduce your risk of breast cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices and managing modifiable risk factors. If you are worried about your risk of developing cancer, see your doctor to discuss any concerns.Non-modifiable risk factors include:

Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables And Avoid Too Much Alcohol

A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and keep alcohol at moderate levels or lower . While moderate drinking can be good for the heart in older adults, even low levels of intake can increase the risk of breast cancer. If you dont drink, dont feel you need to start. If you drink moderately, theres likely no reason to stop. But, if you drink more, you should cut down or quit.

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The Nonlinear Path To Metastasis

Cancer doesnât just spread because a primary tumor has reached a certain size or stage. Disseminated tumor cells, or DTCs, can break off before a tumor has even formed and travel to distant sites in the body where they lie dormant until something âwakes them upâ and they start the deadly process of metastasis, or cancer spread/colonization.

One common hideout for these sleepy creeps is the bone marrow. Dormant tumor cells have been found in the bone marrow of breast cancer patients at the very earliest stage of the disease â DCIS or stage 0 â and Ghajar said theyâre mostly likely present in other patients with early-stage disease, as well.

Past research has shown an association between DTCs in the bone marrow of cancer patients and metastatic recurrence â and not necessarily just bone metastasis.

âPatients with breast cancer cells in the marrow recur more often than patients who donât have cells in the bone marrow,â said Ghajar, who collaborated with a cadre of Fred Hutch researchers as well as scientists from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of California, San Diego. âAnd tumor cells in the bone marrow predict metastasis in a variety of different sites. They even predict metastasis in cancers that never get bone mets.â

But Ghajar said thereâs scientific evidence that âif you can successfully remove disseminated tumor cells, you can prevent those patients from having mets.â

Five Ways To Help Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

5 Things You Must Know About Breast Cancer Prevention ...

Although there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are several things you can do that may lower your likelihood of getting it.

Here are 5 ways to help protect your breast health.

1. Get to and stay at a healthy weight.

Being overweight or obese increases breast cancer risk, especially after menopause. Gaining weight as an adult adds to your risk.

After menopause, most of your estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue increases the amount of estrogen your body makes, raising your risk of breast cancer. Also, women who are overweight tend to have higher levels of insulin. Higher insulin levels have also been linked to breast cancer.

If youre already at a healthy weight, stay there. If youre carrying extra pounds, try to lose some. Theres some evidence that losing weight may lower breast cancer risk. Losing even a small amount of weight can also have other health benefits and is a good place to start.

2. Be physically active and avoid time spent sitting.

Many studies have found that regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risk .

Recent updates to the American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity recommend getting at least 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week. Getting to or exceeding 300 minutes is ideal. You can learn more about getting active in Fitting in Fitness.

3. Follow a healthy eating pattern.

4. It is best not to drink alcohol.

Also Check: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

What Happens If You Never Replace Breast Implants

It is not possible to replace breast implants in a certain time period. Contracture of the capsular area: This is the condition in which hardened scar tissue develops around one or both implants, causing discomfort or changes to the appearance of the skin. It is possible to remove the scar tissue during implant replacement.

How To Discreetly Go Braless

Going braless can be daunting at first. Its hard to feel beautiful when you arent presenting the body that our culture tells you is perfect.

Perfectly formed, pushed up/squished up, symmetrical breasts are not natural. When you decide to take off your bra it can feel like everyone is looking at you. Staring. Judging.

There are ways to dress that make it not so obvious that you arent wearing a bra. Ive put together my top ten tips for going braless to share with you.

Hopefully, it inspires you and gives you the courage to ditch the bra and free the boobies!

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Is It Possible To Prevent Breast Cancer Metastasis

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle may have found a way to essentially smother cancer cells in their sleep, preventing them from ever waking up and forming deadly metastatic tumors.

The work, led by translational researcher Dr. Cyrus Ghajar, has also turned on its ear the longstanding belief that chemotherapy canât kill dormant disseminated tumor cells â cancer cells that escape early on and hide out in other regions of the body â because those cells are in a âsleeper state.â Theyâve stopped growing so chemo, which blindly targets all fast-growing cells, healthy and otherwise, doesnât work.

Thatâs not quite the case.

âItâs always been assumed that dormant cells cannot be killed by any kind of chemotherapy because theyâre not dividing,â said Ghajar, who runs the Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments at Fred Hutch. âBut what weâre showing is thatâs not true. Theyâre relying on survival signaling in their microenvironment, in this case specifically from blood vessels within the bone marrow. And if you can take away that signaling, you can sensitize them to chemotherapy.â

Rebecca Seago-Coyle, a 43-year-old IT project manager and breast cancer survivor who worked with the team as a research advocate, said she loved Ghajarâs innovative approach â and his inclusiveness.

Testing For Breast Cancer

How your diet can prevent breast cancer

The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is an interactive tool that allows health professionals to estimate a womans lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer over the next five years.

The tool can be useful, but it is not without limitations. While it has been validated for most groups including Black and Latinx women, it still underestimates the risk in some Black women.

The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool cannot provide an accurate risk assessment for:

  • Women over the age of 90
  • Women carrying a breast-cancer-producing mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Women with a prior history of breast cancer, whether invasive or in-situ
  • Some other subgroups

That said, Black women should still consider using the risk assessment tool. Getting an estimate of risk does not predict who will or will not get breast cancer. Rather, it is a tool to be used with others to help assess risk and create or refine a breast cancer prevention plan.

Research has found that Black women who do not have children or have them after age 30 have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.

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Top 10 Tips For Dressing Braless

  • Wear layers, layers, and more layers.
  • Shirts that have pockets on the front add extra layers in the perfect spot!
  • Ruffles are your friend!
  • Cardigans or light jackets are great layering options in cooler weather
  • For a summer layer, try styling a vest or kimono with your wardrobe.
  • I usually wear a camisole under my shirts for an added layer. Bonus- this makes it SO much easier to breastfeed!!
  • Avoid thin, sheer, and silk fabrics like the plague!
  • Opt for shirts with lots of detail. Patterns and textures are your friends!
  • When wearing a solid color, the darker the better. Lighter colors tend to show nipples easier.
  • Sweaters and chunky knits are your friends!
  • Employ some reusable silicone breast pads to keep the nipples hidden. I used these reusable adhesive ones when breastfeeding to prevent leaking!
  • Wear more structured tops and dresses. This style tends to be made with thick fabric, which makes going braless a breeze!
  • Trade your turtle necks for V-necks! V-neck shirts help diminish the fact that you arent wearing a bra by proportioning your torso to make your breasts look like they arent hanging low. Win!
  • Practice good posture, slouching isnt doing you any favors.
  • Embrace your breasts, love your body!
  • What do you think about wearing, or not wearing, a bra? Have you ever tried it?


    Take your health into your own hands!! If you stop wearing a bra, let me know how it goes! What challenges do you have, or what tips could you add to the list for going bra free?

    What Is It About Bras That Make Us More Likely To Develop Breast Cancer

    Bras dont actually cause breast cancer, they just promote an ideal environment for breast cancer to develop.

    When bras are worn they can constrict the lymphatic system that surrounds the breast.

    The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.

    The lymph nodes in our body help to filter lymph fluid. When a bra is worn it compresses our breasts and the surrounding tissues, which inhibits lymph flow.

    Instead of our lymph nodes being able to dispose of the toxins and waste that they filter, those things are accumulating at the point of compression.

    Stagnant lymph flow has been shown to lead to cysts, pain, and swelling, and possibly cancer.

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    Brca1 And Brca2 Genes

    Having a fault in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are considered rare to very rare. About 1 in 400 to 1 in 800 people have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Over her lifetime, a woman who carries a mutation in one of these genes has about 70% chance of developing breast cancer. However, not everyone who has a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene will develop cancer. Only about 5-10% of female breast cancers can be explained by inherited mutations. If you are concerned that you may have an increased risk of breast cancer, please speak with your GP or local family cancer clinic, who will help you assess your risk and refer you for further genetic testing if needed.

    Top 10 Tips To Prevent Breast Cancer

    How to Prevent Breast Cancer

    In 2020, more than 2 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer around the world. Some people have a higher risk of developing cancerous cells, but there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. There are, of course, some measures that women can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and these are associated with lifestyle choices and breast screening.

    In this article, we will explore the steps that people can take for the prevention of breast cancer and how these can also reduce the risk of other cancers.

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    Find Out Your Family History

    Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so its important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer or if you have multiplefamily members who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. A doctor or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.

    Attend Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

    Not only should women take preventative measures of even initially developing breast cancer, but women should also take advantage of early-detection methods as well. Health professionals recommend that women over 40 years old should have mammograms performed annually. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breasts that can detect signs of breast cancer. Often, these tests can detect irregularities up to three years before the ability to feel a lump. Doctors sometimes recommend women to do regular self-examination as a proactive method of early detection. Women should also make sure they attend their annual physical examinations with their primary doctor for total coverage of all early-detection methods.

    Each year, around 30% of newly diagnosed cancers are breast cancer. Its important to know what preventative measures we can take to avoid a breast cancer diagnosis. Staying informed on not only breast information but other health and safety information could end up saving you or a loved one. Check out to read more about breast cancer risk and prevention. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor right away.

    Also Check: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    The Cause Of Breast Cancer

    While the toxins and carcinogens in our bodies along with poor food choices are a probable cause of breast cancer, wearing a bra can create an environment for those toxins to build up. This build-up could eventually lead to cancer.

    In their book, Dressed to Kill, Sydney Ross Singer and his wife Soma make the profound statement that:

    When we realize that the body already knows how to prevent cancer, we see that all we really have to do is support the body in doing what it does naturally.

    When our bodies are supported with proper nutrition and functioning properly we can keep cancer cells and all kinds of other illness at bay.

    Treatment focuses on what the doctor can do to stop cancer once it has begun prevention focuses on what the body can do to stop cancer cells before they get out of hand, and examines ways to assist the body in maintaining its stand against disease. Sydney Ross Singer

    Instead of having a treatment mentality when it comes to cancer and other health issues, why dont we have a prevention mentality?

    When we support our lymphatic system by ditching our bras and reducing toxic exposure, I believe we can reduce our chances of developing this disease in a major way!

    Think Pink: 7 Ways To Help Prevent Breast Cancer

    Reducing Breast Cancer Risk

    Pink hats, pink scarves, and Pink Gloveswhat do all of these have in common? Think PINK. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, in which friends, family, and colleagues come together to spread awareness and support research to find a cure for breast cancer. Giving everyone the information and power to keep themselves healthy is one of our main goals at the Cleveland State Recreation Center. Weve compiled a small list of ways to minimize the risk of breast cancer and maximize your knowledge so you can spread the word and raise awareness.

    According to, the leading information provider for the disease, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2019, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers. Though its most prevalent in women, men can be at risk for breast cancer too, and must stay just as vigilant in self-checking and spreading awareness. The most common self-check is to feel around the chest area for any lumps or thickened breast tissue. This does not always mean that cancer is present, but it is one of the more common signs of it. Below are a few tips* to proactively stay healthy in the fight against breast cancer that you can consciously keep in mind on a day by day basis.

    Also Check: How Likely Am I To Get Breast Cancer

    Get Smart: Know Your Risk

    Prevention has to start with knowledge. Women at an increased risk of breast cancer may need to start screening earlier or be screened more frequently than women of average risk. You might be at an increased risk if you:

    • Are overweight or obese or are not physically active
    • Have mutations of BRCA-1, BRCA-2 or PALB-2 genes
    • Have a family or personal history of breast, colorectal or ovarian cancer
    • Began menstrual period before 12 or began menopause after 55
    • Have never had children or had your first child after age 30
    • Are currently using or have recently used birth control pills
    • Have used hormone replacement therapy for more than 10 years


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