8 Steps Women Can Take To Reduce Their Daughters’ Risk Of Breast Cancer
Nobody wants their children to suffer, especially when it comes to something as serious as breast cancer. For women who have battled the disease, chances are they’re fearful that their own daughters will one day get breast cancer, too. While you may not be able to positively prevent it from occurring, you can educate your daughter and help her do everything she can to avoid the disease. Here are a few ways to help keep your daughter in control of her health.
8. Share Family HistoryIt’s important to know your family’s history of cancer — both on your mother’s side of the family and your father’s. Unfortunately, up to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary, so if you’ve battled the disease, your daughter faces a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Share this information not to scare her, but to keep her on top of her health, and to make sure she’s regularly getting tested.
7. Share Your StoryLet your daughter know about your own breast cancer journey. This not only gives you a chance to pass on what you’ve learned to another loved one, but it can also give your daughter comfort and strength if she is ever faced with her own battle.
6. Know the NumbersShare the facts, figures, numbers, and statistics with your daughter. This gives her a baseline for what she may or may not go through. Plus, it gives her an idea of what’s normal and what could be a warning sign of something serious.
5. Teach Her How to Do a Self-ExamTeaching your daughter how to do a breast self-examination can be invaluable. Chances are she’s not going to be able to get to the doctor for an exam every month, but she can still stay on top of things if she knows how to self-test. Early detection is key to conquering cancer.
4. Remind Her Not to Smoke or DrinkSmoking and drinking both increase the risk of developing breast cancer. If paired with a family history of cancer, these risk factors become even more threatening. Encourage your daughter not to smoke and, if she drinks, to limit her alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.
3. Get ExercisingAn active lifestyle decreases one’s chances of developing breast cancer, especially if this is paired with weight control. Those who are overweight are more likely to get cancer, so get your daughter to exercise regularly. In fact, make it a family activity, and use it to bond.
2. If possible, Breast-feedBelieve it or not, those who breast-feed their babies for at least six months have a significantly less chance of getting breast cancer. This has to do with menstruation cycles and estrogen in the body. Although this isn’t always possible, if your daughter can do it, then let her know it’s a good idea.
1. Eat Healthy
Getting your daughter to eat healthy starts with you. If you’re eating healthy and encourage it, then she’s more likely to pick up on that and run with it. Opt for a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean meats.
There’s no magic button for breast cancer prevention. Genetics, lifestyle, and regular check-ups are all factors that play a part in the grand scheme. However, educating your daughter and sharing information with her puts her in the best possible position to stay healthy.