According to Women’s Health newsletter, see a doctor if there are any possible indications of cancer, such as: new lumps or bumps on or around the breasts, swelling, skin changes, including redness, dimpling, or flaking, discharge other than breast milk, swollen lymph nodes under the arm or collarbone
Breast massage: Place one hand on top of the breast on the opposite side of the body, so that the fingertips go into the armpit and the palm rests on the chest. Squeeze the hand over the breast in a pumping motion. Using the same pumping motion, slowly move the hand down toward the nipple. Massage around the outside, bottom, and inner areas of the breast. Repeat on the other breast.
Risks: Breast massages are generally safeTrusted Source. However, anyone who has breast cancer or who has had recent surgery should take care when massaging near a lump or scar. A doctor can provide guidance, which may be especially helpful for people undergoing treatment for a breast-related health condition. The doctor may recommend working with a licensed massage therapist to reduce the risk of harm.
Does breast massage affect size? Some people believe that breast massage increases breast size, firmness, or skin elasticity. But there is a lack of scientific evidence behind these claims. One studyTrusted Source did find that a 15-minute breast massage with bitter almond oil may reduce stretch marks during pregnancy.
Summary. Breast massage may help detect breast cancer, support lymphatic drainage, and relieve pain from breastfeeding. Various massage techniques can have different effects. Some people should be cautious about trying breast massage, such as people undergoing cancer treatment. It may be a good idea to consult a doctor, a licensed massage therapist, or both.
8 Ways to Prevent Breast. These 8 simple steps can help lower the risk of breast cancer. But there is a lot of good news about breast cancer these days. Treatments keep getting better, and we know more than ever about ways to prevent the disease. These eight simple steps can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Not everyone applies to every woman, but together they can have a big impact.
- Keep Weight in Check.
It’s easy to tune out because it gets said so often, but maintaining a healthy weight is an important goal for everyone. Being overweight can increase the risk of many different cancers, including breast cancer, especially after menopause.
- Be Physically Active.
Exercise is as close to a silver bullet for good health as there is, and women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check.
- Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables – and Avoid Too Much Alcohol.
A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and keep alcohol at moderate levels or lower (a drink a day or under). While moderate drinking can be good for the heart in older adults, even low levels of intake can increase the risk of breast cancer. If you don’t drink, don’t feel you need to start. If you drink moderately, there’s likely no reason to stop. But, if you drink more, you should cut down or quit.
- Don’t Smoke.
Smokers and non-smokers alike know how unhealthy smoking is. On top of lowering quality of life and increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and at least 15 cancers – including breast cancer – it also causes smelly breath, bad teeth, and wrinkles. Now that’s motivation to stay smoke-free or work to get smoke-free.
- Breastfeed, If Possible.
Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It also has great health benefits for the child.
- Avoid Birth Control Pills, Particularly After Age 35 or If You Smoke.
Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill – particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer – not to mention unwanted pregnancy – so there’s also a lot in its favor. If you’re very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.
- Avoid Post-Menopausal Hormones.
Post-menopausal hormones shouldn’t be taken long term to prevent chronic diseases, like osteoporosis and heart disease. Studies show they have a mixed effect on health, increasing the risk of some diseases and lowering the risk of others, and both estrogen only hormones and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones increase the risk of breast cancer. If women do take post-menopausal hormones, it should be for the shortest time possible. The best person to talk to about the risks and benefits of post-menopausal hormones is your doctor.
- Tamoxifen and Raloxifene for Women at High Risk.
Although not commonly thought of as a “healthy behavior,” taking the rescription drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene can significantly lower the risk of breast cancer in woman at high risk of the disease. Approved by the FDA for breast cancer prevention, these powerful drugs can have side effects, so they aren’t right for everyone. If you think you’re at high risk, talk to your doctor to see if tamoxifen or raloxifene may be right for you.
Find Out Your Family History. Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so it’s important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer (especially at an early age) or if you have multiple
family members (including males) who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. A doctor or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.
Don’t Forget Screening. Despite some controversy, studies show that breast cancer screening with mammography saves lives. It doesn’t help prevent cancer, but it can help find cancer early when it’s most treatable. For most women, regular mammograms can begin at age 40, but specific recommendations vary by age and risk.
If you are age 40 – 44: You can choose to begin yearly mammograms. It is important to talk to a doctor about the risk and benefits of mammograms at these ages. If you are age 45 – 54: Mammograms are recommended every year.
If you are age 55 or over: Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.
Clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended. But you should be familiar with your breasts and tell a health care provider right away if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel.
Other Important Risk Factors for Breast Cancer. Unfortunately, there are also a number of important breast cancer risk factors that women have no control over. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and do what you can to lower it. If you feel you’re at high risk, talk to a doctor or other health professional. These can increase a woman’s breast cancer risk:
- Older age, especially 60 years or over
- Family history of breast cancer
- First menstrual period (menarche) before age 12
- Menopause at age 55 or over
- First childbirth after age 35
- No children
- Tall height (5’8” or taller)
- Dense breasts
- History of benign breast disease (like atypical hyperplasia