Breast cancer has become the most common type of cancer among women in the U.S., affecting a total of 3.8 million people according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Maintaining good breast health as you age can significantly reduce your risk of cancer.

As your breast care specialists in Jacksonville, NC, we’ve developed this guide so you know how to keep your breasts healthy and what to do if you detect a potential issue.

The Path to Good Breast Health

1. Aim for a BMI Below 30

Women who are overweight or obese have a much higher risk of breast cancer than those with a lower body mass index (BMI). This number compares your height to your weight as one factor to predict potential disease risk and outcomes.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that women with BMI above 30 are less likely to receive an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis than those with BMI of 25 or below. As a result, they also experience a higher risk of cancer recurrence and fatality.

2. Get to Know Your Breasts

In addition to an annual breast exam, you may want to start doing a breast self-exam in between visits. You should alert your health care provider about anything unusual you notice, such as:

  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Skin with an “orange peel” texture
  • Puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • New lumps or bumps
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breasts

You should have a medical exam if you see anything out of the ordinary.

3. Regularly Visit Your Breast Care Specialists

The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends making an annual appointment with a breast care center for an exam. You may also need an imaging test called a mammogram every year or two depending on your age and the recommendations of your breast cancer surgeon.

At Carolinas Center for Surgery, we’re proud of serving as your breast care specialists in the Jacksonville, NC area. Contact our office today to make an appointment and learn more about how to maintain the best possible breast health.