In recent years, the incidence of breast cancer has significantly increased in Chinese women. Moreover, many Chinese women develop the disease in their 40s, which is 10 years younger than in the West. It is thus increasingly important for Chinese women to be more aware of ways to help prevent breast cancer or detect the disease at earlier, more treatable stages.
Both hereditary and environmental factors play important roles in breast cancer development. Although you cannot change hereditary factors, there are many things you can do to minimize exposure to environmental factors and lower your risk of getting breast cancer. For example, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in soy products such as tofu, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol intake, no smoking, being physically active, and minimizing exposure to environmental pollution such as vehicle exhaust. Additionally, long-term breastfeeding may reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50 percent.
It’s also important to catch breast cancer early, when it could be treated more effectively. AFCR recommends adult women to do monthly breast self-examination, have annual breast physical examination. Women 40 and older should also get a mammogram each year.
October is breast cancer awareness month, so be sure to remind your loved ones to take proactive measurements on breast cancer prevention and early detection.
Read more about breast cancer screening and self-examination.