It’s October and everyone is going pink! To mark this year’s “Pinktober”(breast cancer awareness month), I have put together some tidbits to enlighten the ladies about breast care, breastfeeding and preventive measures against breast cancer. Here we go…
*Excellent personal hygiene takes care of the breasts, too.
You don’t need to have an extra session for cleaning the breasts; your daily shower covers everything. Avoid harsh soaps around the breasts, especially the nipples and areola. Pay attention to the cleavages and folds, as accumulated sweat and dirts can give rise to inflammation and infection.
*Choose a healthy lifestyle.
You’re probably hearing this for the umpteenth time and you’re wondering what’s the magic behind this “healthy lifestyle” thingy. The body organs and systems are interconnected so, whatever is good for one part is also good for other parts. The goal is to maintain a healthy weight and flush out harmful elements from your entire system. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and rest. Your spiritual health matters too.
*Let your breasts breathe.
There’s this campaign going around for a while. Though not proven to be scientifically conclusive, it was proposed that going “braless” enhances the blood circulation around the breast which prevents premature sagging and other disorders of the breasts. Bras are wonderful, and the right size makes you feel really great; but you need to give yourself a braless break once in a while, maybe at bedtime.
*Breastfeed your baby(ies).
The benefits of breastfeeding are overwhelming. Breast milk is the only perfect food for babies in the first 6 months of life. The longer you breastfeed, the longer you and your baby continue to reap the benefits. Estrogen has a major role in the occurrence of breast cancer. When you’re pregnant or lactating, estrogen is reduced to the barest minimum, hence reducing your risk of developing breast cancer as well as other estrogen-dependent cancers.
*Practice breast self examination (BSE).
Get to know your breasts. At least once in a monthly cycle, stand in front of the mirror and inspect your breasts carefully. Look out for changes in colour, size and shape. Then feel with the pads of your fingers in a circular motion. Check for abnormal swellings deep within the breast tissue, up to the armpit and down to the nipples. Repeat this process lying down and in the shower. Check for any watery, milky or purulent discharge from the nipples. Once you get used to the look and feel, it becomes easier to detect any deviation from the norm.
*Opt for natural beauty products.
Yeah, I know you have to rub 7 creams and lotions to make your skin blemish-free. But please, spare the breasts! Some of these creams contain chemicals that can hamper the natural milieu of the breast tissues and glands. Instead, use natural oils like olive, castor, shea butter, evening primrose, etc.
*Be content with your boob size.
Breast enhancement creams are being sold everywhere nowadays but people need to be aware of the potential dangers. Some of them are packed with hormones that may trigger abnormal growths, and with long term usage, cancer. Having smaller breasts doesn’t mean you’re inferior to other women, or that you can’t breastfeed successfully. Don’t resort to over-the-counter meds and quack cosmetic surgeries.
*Go for screening.
If you feel anything unusual about your breasts, go and see a doctor for proper clinical exam. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you’ll need a more frequent checkup. From age 50, it’s advisable to do periodic mammograms (5-10years) to screen for breast cancer. Early detection followed by prompt treatment is the only way to survive this deadly disease!