At the moment breast cancer cannot be prevented, but it can be diagnosed much earlier than before.
Early diagnosis is possible with routine mammography and early biopsy of suspicious lesions. The earlier cancer is found, the better the chances of a cure.
American specialists advise that women should have a baseline mammogram at the age of 40. Between 40 and 50 years of age, mammograms are recommended every other year. After age 50, annual mammograms are recommended.
Between 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast examination every three years, and annually from 39 on.
The following may help prevent breast cancer:
A low-fat diet (less than 20 percent fat), with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and ideal weight maintenance.
When cancer is found and treated early, there are more treatment choices and a better chance of recovery. Talk to your doctor about symptoms to watch for, and an appropriate check-up schedule.
Between clinical check-ups, do a monthly breast self-exam (BSE). Every woman's breasts are different, and they change with age, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, or taking oral contraceptives or other hormones. It may be normal for your breasts to feel lumpy, swollen or tender at times, such as immediately before a period or during pregnancy. By doing a monthly BSE, after age 20, you learn what is normal for your breasts, and are more likely to detect changes.
Breastfeeding may slightly decrease risk, especially if continued for 18-24 months.
Strenuous exercise in youth might provide life-long protection. Even moderate physical activity as an adult can lower risk.