Greater Grand Rapids:
Muskegon & the Lakeshore:

Preventative Breast Health

Reduce Your Risk

There are numerous ways in which you can reduce your risk of breast cancer, all of which start with healthy habits. While it's impossible to completely prevent the risk of developing cancer, we've outlined the factors that are in your control.

Women who have a family history of breast cancer are at increased risk for developing breast cancer themselves. Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer doubles the risk for developing breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s dietary guidelines for cancer prevention recommend that people:

• Choose foods, serving sizes and caloric contents that promote a healthy weight
• Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day
• Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products
• Limit consumption of processed and red meat
• Women should limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day

Regular exercise, particularly moderate and vigorous exercise, appears to offer protection against breast cancer. Exercise can help reduce body fat, which in turn lowers levels of cancer-promoting hormones such as estrogen. The American Cancer Society recommends engaging in 45 - 60 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week.

Our experts recommend annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. Click here to schedule your mammogram.

The best time to do a self-breast exam is about 3-5 days after your period starts. Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy at this time in your monthly cycle. If you have gone through menopause, do your exam on the same day every month. Learn how to perform a breast self-exam here.

While conventional mammography takes pictures of the breast from two angles, a 3D mammogram takes multiple pictures from different angles. Benefits include improved imaging for patients with dense breast tissue and decreases recall rates for screening mammography.

Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer or arrange for consultation in our RiskPlus program.

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