Cancer Prevention for Women at High Risk

If you have a high risk of developing cancer, there are some things you can do to prevent the disease. Talk with your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk. If you are, consider trying these things to help reduce your risk of developing cancer:

Take good care of yourself
Avoid smoking and drinking because they can increase your likelihood of getting cancer, and they are bad for your overall health. Eat a low-fat diet full of fruits and vegetables to keep your body at the proper weight for your bone structure. Partake in moderate to intense physical activities several times a week. This will allow you to maintain a healthy weight while encouraging muscle growth.

Avoid unnecessary radiation exposure
If you are at the doctor's office and the physician wants to take an image of your body with a method that uses high doses of radiation (like computerized tomography) let them know you are at a high risk of developing breast cancer. They should be able to work with you to use a different imaging method to avoid excess radiation exposure, which can increase your risk of developing the cancer.

Limit hormone therapy
Hormone fluctuations have been linked to breast cancer. If you are taking hormone therapy for menopause, fertility treatments or other reasons, you will want to talk with your doctor to decide the best treatment and duration for you that will not increase your risk of getting the disease.

Take chemopreventative therapy
According to the American Cancer Society, women who are at an increased risk of having breast cancer can greatly benefit from taking chemoprevention. Tamoxifen and raloxifene are two FDA-approved medicines that can be used for this purpose. These drugs lessen the amount of estrogen in the body, which can prevent cancerous cells from growing. While there is a possibility of developing side effects, many doctors find the benefits outweigh the risk. 

Provide Mammograms

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