Monday 11 July 2016

Women’s Health Expert Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Breast Cancer Prevention

Marla Ahlgrimm
Breast cancer is caused in part by genetics, and that can’t be changed, says Marla Ahlgrimm. However, lifestyle also plays a role in our overall health and wellbeing, and may contribute to breast cancer risks as well. Here, Ahlgrimm answers some common questions regarding breast cancer prevention.

Q: What steps can I take to reduce my chances of getting breast cancer?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The first step is to reduce your alcohol intake and stop smoking, if applicable. If you are overweight, dropping even a few pounds can help lower your risks of breast cancer as well as numerous other medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Keep your body in its best shape by being physically active every day. It is interesting to note that women who breastfeed enjoy a lower risk of breast cancer, though the reasons are not fully understood.

Q: Does diet have any effect on my risks?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Your diet is one of the biggest contributors to your health, for both good and bad. Eating a balanced diet, complete with healthy fats, fish, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, may reduce your risk of breast cancer as well as stroke, heart disease, and other conditions.

Q: Do birth control pills cause breast cancer?

Marla Ahlgrimm: No, although we now know that women who took birth control prior to 1985 may have been slightly and temporarily more at-risk than their friends who opted for condoms as their primary form of birth control. Oral contraceptives used to contain a higher amount of estrogen, which may have increased the risk in young women.

Q: What else can I do?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Be proactive when it comes to breast cancer detection. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you notice any changes in your breasts, such as lumps or skin discoloration. Talk to your doctor about when to begin mammography screening and stay on top of your diet and exercise routine.


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