The breast cancer specialist never does these 2 things

  • A breast cancer surgeon shared two things she never does in order to reduce her risk of the disease.
  • Rachel O’Connell never misses a monthly breast self-check and doesn’t drink alcohol during the week.
  • She said that genetics and being a woman, which cannot be changed, put people at greater risk.

A breast cancer The surgeon has shared the two things she avoids to reduce the risk of the disease.

Rachel O’Connell, a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon at The Royal Marsden Hospital, UK, told Insider that often factors we can’t change, such as age and being female, put people at higher risk of contracting the disease. disease.

However, lifestyle choices can produce “incremental benefits” by reducing the risk of breast cancer and also improve general health, he said.

A estimated 264,000 women and 2,400 men are diagnosed annually in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s what O’Connell would never do in order to reduce her risk of breast cancer:

1. Missing a breast checkup

O’Connell said that early identification of breast cancer can mean that “you’ll need less treatment.”

So O’Connell, 44, too young to put on screen in the UK, which is for people between the ages of 50 and 71, check your breasts once a month.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women ages 50 to 74 with an “average” risk of breast cancer have a mammogram every two years. This increases the chances of finding it at an early stage,” when it can be treated and can be curedaccording to the National Cancer Institute.

She said she doesn’t have a specific method for examining her breasts, but said it’s important to become familiar with them and have a routine.

signs of breast cancer O’Connell looks for include: dimpling of the skin, nipple discharge, and lumps.

2. Drink alcohol from Sunday to Thursday

O’Connell avoids having alcohol Sunday through Thursday because it helps you drink less in general.

“It can be hard to moderate your alcohol intake and that’s why the only thing I would say about alcohol is to have a strict idea of ​​what you do and don’t do because you may end up having a glass of wine at night.” which becomes two glasses of wine in the evening, and then two or three glasses of wine in the evening, which is probably not a good idea,” O’Connell said.

According to the CDC, research suggests that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater the risk of breast cancer.

“I don’t think you shouldn’t drink alcohol, and things should be in moderation,” he said.

O’Connell tries to do ‘everything in moderation’

O’Connell said she takes an “everything in moderation” approach to life, including physical activity and her diet, to protect her overall health rather than specifically reduce her risk of breast cancer. For example, she tries to follow a diet that is not “too high” in saturated fat eating red meat once a week.

“The biggest exercise I try to get is to go swimming with my 4-year-old son and when I walk, I try to walk at a pace so my heart rate gets up,” O’Connell, who often works long hours in the operating room , said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionbeing overweight and inactive increases the risk of breast cancer cancer — and 12 other types of cancer — in postmenopausal women. However, not everyone with breast cancer has risk factors, and not everyone who is at risk develops the disease.

“I always assure patients that the vast majority of the time, they haven’t done anything wrong to cause breast cancer,” O’Connell said.

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