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Top 10 Things You Can Do to Detect Breast Cancer Early and Help Lower Your Risk

Today, we are sharing all ten things you can do to detect breast cancer early and help lower your risk.

1. Get screened. Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk. Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk. Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40.

2. Find out whether you or women close to you have dense breasts. Extra tissue can prevent early diagnosis of breast cancer.

3. Ask your doctor to recommend other tests using ultrasounds and MRIs to detect breast tumors that may not show up on mammograms.

4. Know your body mass index (BMI) — and lower it if necessary. Studies show that women whose body mass index (BMI) is at the lower end of the scale for their height lower their risk of breast cancer.

5. Get 30 minutes of exercise daily.

6. Limit alcohol to one drink a day — or save it for special occasions. More than one drink a day is associated with a significant increase in breast cancer risk, and teetotalers have the lowest risk of all.

7. Eat those fruits and veggies. Lots of them.

8. Quit smoking.

9. Don’t take hormones, or limit how long you take them.

10. If you have kids, breast feeding for at least one year over all pregnancies lowers breast cancer risk

“Early detection is key, and it’s such an easy thing to do now,” Andrea Horan emphasizes. “People really need to take time in their year to [get screened], because the earlier you catch breast cancer, the better. It’s more treatable and curable when you catch it early.”

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