Every body organ needs to be cared for to maintain good overall well-being. Women’s breasts are one of the sensitive body parts that need special self-care to ensure good health. Normally, women’s breasts undergo many changes, but some changes do indicate breast issues like breast cancer. 
They can go through a lot because of the use of underwire bras or sports bras that help support the breasts and even hormonal changes at different times of their lives like before menses, during pregnancy, pre-menopause, post-menopause, and while taking hormone replacement therapies. It is reasoned that using underwire bras for long hours can cause obstructed lymph flow in the breast which can cause breast cancer to occur. Even then, women’s breasts are left at the bottom of their self-care list.
Most women don’t pay much attention to their breasts and may feel guilty about not regularly examining them. Their negligence in getting mammograms done on regular basis or their bad habits could degrade their breast health over time and increase their risk of having breast diseases, particularly breast cancer. Therefore, doctors always recommend taking preventive measures to avoid any kind of breast-related ailments.
There are many mistakes that women often make unknowingly, which may contribute to their threat of facing breast issues. Continue reading to know which blunders women can make without realizing they can be bad for their breast health. Also, for those looking to show their breasts a little love, there are some care tips you can follow to avoid having bad breast health.
Common habits that may be hazardous for breast health and what lifestyle modifications one might adopt to avoid them:[2, 3]
1. Failing to take proper care of your breasts as you get older.
The risk of getting diseases such as breast cancer rises with age, particularly in the 40s and 50s. Most women do not take their chronological age seriously, which exposes them to increased risks of breast diseases. As a woman reaches the age of 40, she should make it a point to obtain frequent clinical exams to ensure optimum breast health. [4, 5]
2. Failing to schedule a yearly mammogram.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts that is used to detect early signs of breast cancer. According to studies, even after the age of 40, many women do not consider getting an annual mammogram done. Doctors believe that even a few months of delay can result in established and undiagnosed breast cancer signs. As a result, it is suggested that women in their 40s have a mammogram every year. [3,5]
3. Failure to keep track of your weight.
According to studies, women with a BMI (body mass index) greater than 25 are considered obese and are at a higher risk of developing breast disorders than those who are at a healthy weight. The risk increases due to an increase in estrogen synthesis caused by an increase in the number of fat cells. The growth of “hormone receptor-positive” breast cancer is caused by an increase in estrogen levels. To avoid obesity, a woman should aim to eat healthy and constantly monitor her weight. [3, 4, 5]
4. Avoiding physical activity.
Avoiding exercise can be harmful to one’s breast health. According to studies, women who exercise for 4 to 7 hours each week have a lower risk of getting breast disease. This is because regular exercise reduces blood levels of the hormone “insulin growth factor,” which impacts the growth and behavior of breast cells. So, begin exercising today to stay in shape and maintain optimum breast health. [3, 4, 5]
5. Excessive alcohol consumption.
Frequent alcohol consumption in females raises the risk of breast cancer by causing DNA damage in cells. Moreover, it elevates levels of estrogen and other hormones responsible for initiating “hormone receptor-positive” breast cancer. A woman can reduce this danger by limiting her alcohol use to special occasions and keeping it moderate. [4, 5]
6. Using cosmetics that expose you to too many chemicals.
Most women use an excessive amount of cosmetic products that contain chemicals that increase their risk of developing breast diseases. This occurs because these chemicals typically tend to alter the hormonal balance of the body by mimicking or blocking particular hormones. [4, 5]
7. Bad eating habits.
Even those once-in-a-while situations of feasting on salty, saturated fat-laden foods can accumulate. Scientists believe that the key to optimal health is a well-balanced, mostly plant-based diet with limited red meat and high-fat dairy. Yet, this does not imply that a woman should avoid any fat. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent model for avoiding the two leading causes of death in women (heart disease and breast cancer) while also supporting a healthy life. Eating “good” fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) found in nuts, avocados, and fatty fish, such as salmon, promotes healthy aging and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Being overweight and obese raises the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. [4, 5]
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