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5 Things You Didn't Know To Keep Your Breasts Healthy (But Should)

Did you know that one in every eight American women may acquire breast health issues, such as cancer, over her lifetime? The truth is that some risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, age, and radiation exposure, are beyond our control. We can, however, control many other aspects of our lifestyle.

Of course, there is no foolproof method to avoid health issues but there are a number of things you can do to lower your risk, such as eating healthier meals and wearing the appropriate undergarments.

Here are five smart, research-backed strategies to keep your breasts safe from unintended damage.

1. Learn Your Breast Geography. 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation suggests that women of all ages undertake breast self-exams once a month for a very good reason: Learning how they feel might help you be more sensitive to any changes. While self-exams cannot prevent breast cancer, they may help you notice any abnormalities as soon as possible, allowing you to get treatment as soon as feasible. Keep in mind that not all lumps, bumps, and other changes indicate that you have breast cancer. However, if you notice anything unusual about the way they appear or feel, you should absolutely notify your doctor. Also, conduct your monthly examinations a week or two after your period finishes, since this is when they are least likely to be sensitive or swollen.

 It's crucial to understand their density as well as how they seem and feel. Dense breast tissue has less fat and more glandular tissue. What is the significance of this? Because if you have thick breast tissue, you may need to be more cautious when it comes to monitoring your breast health. In fact, a research study discovered that mammography missed 60% of breast cancers discovered using ultrasonography in women with thick breast tissue. If you're unsure about your breast density, contact your doctor for assistance. If you do have thick breasts, your doctor may advise you on what form of monitoring is best for you in order to reduce your health concerns

2. TAKE A WALK, DO A DANCE, JUST MOVE! 

There are several reasons to exercise regularly, one of which is to lower your risk of breast cancer. This is most likely due to the fact that fat cells release estrogen, which has been related to the development of breast cancer (among other cancers). When you exercise, your fat cells shrink, resulting in reduced estrogen production.

The best part? You don't even have to do HIIT workouts or spin classes to get the benefits. Just taking a few steps every day could make a difference. A study by the American Cancer Society found that women who sat for six hours or more every day (when they weren't working) were 10 percent more likely to get invasive breast cancer than women who sat for less than three hours a day. Not only that, but a 2013 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention found that just walking for an hour a day can lower your risk of getting breast cancer. And the more active a woman was, the less likely she was to get breast cancer. Moderate physical activity, like brisk walking, cut the risk by 14%, while "vigorous" physical activity, like jogging, cycling, and aerobics, cut the risk by a huge 25%.

3. WEAR A BRA FOR ACTIVITIES? YES. WEAR IT TO SLEEP? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. 

The truth is that wearing a bra is a highly personal decision. Some ladies like wearing them to bed, while others do not. Some people are OK going braless throughout the day, while others would never consider it. Breast size is usually a big factor in these selections. However, regardless of your breast size, you should always exercise in a supportive sports bra.

Daily movement, as well as physical exercise, especially medium to high impact, exposes your breasts to movement and consequently possible strain. If you don't wear a bra to limit that movement, you risk damaging the Cooper's ligaments, which keep your breasts looking lifted and retain their form and structure. So, use a well-fitting bra with adequate support for a better appearance over time but also discomfort or pain during and after a day on the go. 

4. REMEMBER SUNSCREEN GOES ON YOUR CHEST, TOO.  

Whatever your plans for the day, don't forget to apply sunscreen on your chest, even if you're just going for a stroll in a v-neck or cami. More than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, according to research conducted by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Use of SPF 15 or higher on a daily basis reduces risk of squamous cell carcinoma (the second most prevalent kind of skin cancer) by 40% and melanoma by 50%, respectively

5. YOUR DIET PROBABLY NEEDS MORE ANTIOXIDANTS.  

You have probably, by this point, been aware of the excitement around antioxidants and the cancer-fighting capabilities that they possess. These compounds, which include vitamins C, E, and A in addition to lycopene and beta-carotene, have the potential to shield your cells from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals (which can lead to cancer). There are a lot of fruits and vegetables that contain these vitamins, but certain of them have a particularly high concentration of antioxidants. 

Tomatoes and guava, for example, are both rich in lycopene, while broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are similarly strong in antioxidants. Furthermore, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, these vegetables may lessen breast cancer risk by reducing "bad" estrogen production while concurrently increasing "good" estrogen levels. Carotenoid beta-carotene is present in carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, and studies reveal that women who eat foods high in carotenoid had a 19 percent decreased risk of breast cancer, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Cancer and other health issues may not be preventable, but this does not imply you are completely helpless. Wearing the right bra, eating the right foods, and getting enough of exercise may go a long way toward lowering your chance of having any number of health problems. If you follow these five tips, you'll be doing your best to keep your breasts safe.