According to the National Cancer Center Singapore, breast cancer is the top cancer killer amongst Singaporean women, with rates increasing significantly over the last 40 years. Although early diagnosis and advanced treatment protocols are effective in increasing the survival rate of breast cancer, prevention is the best treatment. Here are a few tips for better breast health:
1. Regular Self Checks
Make it a habit to do a monthly self check. This is easy to do at home, and enables early detection of any abnormalities in your breast. The ideal time for a self examination is a few days after your menses.
2. Plant Based Diet
A plant based diet may promote better breast health, as it provides more fiber and less saturated fat. Besides being heart healthy, the Mediterranean diet, which is heavy on plants foods and fish, may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Minimising alcohol intake may also reduce the risk of breast cancer amongst women aged 45-65, according to a new study. Alcohol is thought to increase circulating estrogen levels, which increases the risk of breast cancer.
3. Get Fitted
Most of us are probably wearing the wrong sized bra. Wearing an ill fitting bra, (too tight), over a long period of time has been linked with an increased risk for breast cancer. This may be due to poor blood circulation around the breast and lymph nodes.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Overweight or obese women are at higher risk for breast cancer, as excess fat is a factor in increased estrogen levels. Maintaining a healthy body fat ratio may help reduce breast cancer risk, especially for women who have incidence of breast cancer in the family.
5. Go Braless in Bed
Going braless while you sleep enables better blood & lymphatic circulation, leading to better breast health. Interestingly, your sleeping position may affect your breast health - sleeping face down might stretch your breast ligament over time, and lead to premature sagging.
Your breasts are your literal bosom buddies, so love them, support them, and care for them, as you would do for your best buds!
Pharmacist and formulator. Passionate about making a difference in healthcare and personal wellness through nutrition.