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How You Can Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk ~ #BCERP


It was 2012, I was 35 years old and had just given birth to my daughter a few months earlier, when I felt what I thought was a lump in my breast while breastfeeding. My first thought was "I might have breast cancer", and immediately made an appointment to see my doctor.


While I was scared to have a mammogram while breastfeeding, my doctor reassured me that it was perfectly safe, and I wanted to be sure that everything was ok. I was 35 years old when I had my very first mammogram and everything turned out ok. Now there were a few other reasons why I was worried. See, I have a family history of breast cancer. I have had aunts and a grandmother who died from breast cancer, so it was very worrisome, and I would rather be safe than sorry. While I'm writing this post, I recently had another mammogram and I'm currently awaiting my results.

As a mother of daughters, especially daughters that share my DNA, I want them to know that they are at risk, but there are ways for our to reduce our risk together. So how can we reduce our risk of breast cancer. Here are five easy ways.


Limit alcohol use
If you can avoid alcohol altogether then that would be great, but the less you drink the lesser your risk of developing breast cancer, which means that the more you drink, the greater you are at risk.

Monitor weight
Being obese or overweight increases your risk of breast cancer, so monitoring and controlling your weight will reduce your risk.

Exercise
Being active and exercising will help you in control and maintain a healthy weight, which helps to reduce your risk for breast cancer. It's a lot easier to exercise than you think. Just taking a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood can give you a start.

Eat a healthy diet
Try and eat as much fresh products as you can. Try feeding your family fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned goods and include grains and beans in your diet. Also try avoiding foods with high animal fat content.

Use BPA and phthalates free products
Try to avoid products with phthalate in the ingredients, and any product containing BPA. Plastic containers with the number 7 in the recycling triangle often contains BPA, and containers with the number 3 in the recycling triangle contains phthalates, so avoid them.


Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They created a mother-daughter toolkit mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.


Remember that you are usually the first to realize changes in your breast, so be vigilant. If you notice any changes, such as lumps, be sure to speak with your doctor. You should also ask your doctor when is the best time to start your mammogram based on your personal and family history.


If you'll take just a few minutes of your time to complete this survey we would really appreciate it. It will help researchers better understand your perceptions of the breast cancer information I shared with you today. Thank you.



Annmarie John
34 Comments
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34 comments:

  1. Glad it turned out not to be breast cancer. Like you I had my first mammogram at age 35 and all turned out OK thankfully. My doctor does a routine mammogram once at 35 and then every year once you turn 40. So, I am due at my next check finally now. And definitely agree that this is such an important test to take. Thanks for sharing though ways to keep breast cancer reduced here, as well.

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  2. This is important information for all women. I have a family history of it, so I try to be extra cautious.

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  3. This is so, so important. I do everything I can to ensure I reduce my risk of breast cancer and catch it early should I become afflicted with it. I've seen what it can do first hand.

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  4. I think it's key for everyone - men and women - to live the healthiest life they can. Just being healthy drastically reduces your risk for all types of cancers and other diseases.

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  5. This is such an important post. I do not have a history of breast cancer in my family but I am always aware and cautious.

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  6. Thanks for posting about this important topic! I think these lifestyle changes can bring health benefit for everyone, but especially women with a family history. It's critical to be aware and proactive about health!

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  7. Women need to be encouraged at the recommended age to get a mammogram. It would definitely help in catching breast cancer in it's early stages.

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  8. My mother-in-law had greast cancer so I am more worried for my daughter. Those tips are great advice in general and it is good they can decrease breast cancer risk.

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  9. Such an important topic to discuss. I know that I could benefit from healthier eating habits and more exercise for sure. I know many cancers run in my family, not so sure on breast cancer but know it can still happen and I need to be proactive to reduce the risks.

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  10. I think this is really important to thinking about and reducing your risk in these ways can be easy! Getting your mammograms done is super important too.

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  11. I am currently trying to lose weight and take better care of my body. This is a big fear of mine. So many friends and women are suffering from this.

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  12. These tips are so important. I had my first mammogram last year and am due for another one. If there is anyway to reduce my risk, I want to make sure that I do it. Breast cancer is frightening.

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  13. Eating a healthy diet can help prevent a lot of issues. Breast cancer is a serious business, my aunt died of it.

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  14. Great information, I have two friends that were diagnosed at a young age so I know it can happen at any age.

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  15. AnnMarie, Thank you so much for writing this post. I am positive it will help so many women out there. Your words are very inspiring and I love that you touched on breastfeeding and mammography.

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  16. Definitely good to know there are things we can do to reduce our risks. These are things that improve our overall health in addition to lessening our chance.

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  17. I've lost friends and family because of breast cancer and it would be nice to be able to avoid it completely. I think these are very helpful factors on how to prevent breast cancers. Women should totally take note of this post!

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  18. I've lost friends and family because of breast cancer and it would be nice to be able to avoid it completely. I think these are very helpful factors on how to prevent breast cancers. Women should totally take note of this post!

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  19. Glad to hear your first screening was clean. Here's hoping your current results will come back the same as before. We have a strong family history of breast cancer. My gynecologist ordered a test to look for markers in my genes to assess my risk, which thankfully came back as none. The test isn't cheap if insurance doesn't cover it (about $5k) but I would highly recommend having the screening done for those who have good insurance coverage!

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  20. I had a very dear friend to my family pass away from breast cancer. Since then, it has made me very aware how real it is. Thank you for these reminders.

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  21. I am glad that I wasn't too late to the party. I got a mammogram not too long ago as my first and I was afraid I was behind but thankfully, I wasn't.

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  22. I am so glad you made this post. I truly don't think some women understand how easy it can be to fall prey to breast cancer. Exercising, eating right, and not going crazy on alcohol doesn't just help your body shape, it helps your body all the way around.

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  23. My doctor told me that if I were to give myself a gift every year on my birthday, it should be a mammogram and a pap smear. My aunt succumbed to breast cancer complications, and I have two cousins who are in remission. Scary. I have to be vigilant to spot signs and symptoms. We all should be. Thanks for the reminder.

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  24. These are really great tips! I hope more women would be aware with the symptoms and ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

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  25. There are so many ways to reduce our risk, I can't stress the importance of self exams enough and staying on top of getting a mammogram. One brief moment of discomfort is way better than the alternative.

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  26. This is such an important message! I have eliminated BPA products from our house for quite some time, and I opt for natural beauty products now, especially deodorant, as an extra safeguard. Taking steps to be healthier really can reduce your risk of disease!

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  27. My stepmom recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. October is a big month for breast cancer awareness so I appreciate you sharing the tips.

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  28. Such an important message! Happy to see attention and tips like this are being shared.

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  29. This information is so important for every woman to know. It's good to know there are steps we can take to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

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  30. Excellent tips. Until recently, I didn't know there were things we could to help our daughters reduce their risks too. I'm happy your experience had a positive end for you!

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  31. So much great info here!!! As horrible as it is to think about cancer, it’s definitely one of those things that the more people are aware of the signs the better!

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  32. My grandmother had breast cancer later in life, but I still think about those genetics. I try to do anything I can to prevent cancer down the lines.
    Great tips!

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  33. I think we can all do more to try and reduce our risk of cancer, or at least try. Getting regular screenings is definitely the most important especially if you have a history in your family.

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  34. Great tips. One of my BFF's was diagnosed about five years ago, and it was a scary time for all of us. Thankfully, she has been in remission for a few years. It's important to get checked and know the signs and symptoms.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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