Breast Cancer Network of WNY

Worried About Breast Cancer?

Are you worried about breast cancer?  Many women are.  Some women are worried about breast cancer because of family history.  Others are worried about it just because it seems that more and more women are being diagnosed.

Fearing Breast Cancer

Regardless of your reason, fearing breast cancer is a very real and valid concern.  If you have a family history of breast cancer, this fear may be even more justified.  That said, constantly being worried about breast cancer will not help you do anything proactive to address your risk.  Instead, consider these 5 things.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you are worried about breast cancer, the first thing you should do is talk with your doctor.  He or she may be able to help assess your risk of developing it.  If it is determined that you are at high risk, your doctor can also help you get a proactive plan in place.  This may include getting mammograms earlier than the recommended age or a number of other things.

Look for a Program

In Western New York, we are lucky enough to have a cutting edge cancer treatment facility in our backyard; Roswell Park.  Roswell Park has an Early Intervention Program for women that are at a high risk of developing breast cancer.  Getting involved with a program like this can help take some of the worry away as you receive regular checkups and state of the art testing to monitor your breast health.  To learn more about the Early Intervention Program at Roswell click here.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make that may help reduce your risk of breast cancer.  If you are smoking and drinking regularly, your doctor will likely recommend stopping activities like this.  He or she may also suggest maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising regularly.

Watch Your Breasts Closely

Do self exams at home.  You aren’t just looking for lumps!  Watch for any abnormal changes to your breasts in general.

Act Quickly If Something Changes

Unfortunately, there is no amount of worry in the world can stop breast cancer.  Taking a proactive approach by regularly monitoring your breast health and fully understanding your level of risk is a great first step in helping ease your worry.  By getting in control and having a plan, you are setting the stage for a more positive outcome.  That said, if you do find something, or notice a change, talk to your doctor immediately.

Jennifer Calero

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