Breast cancer affects one in eight women (about 12%) in the United States. Because it affects so many people, the fear of getting breast cancer is a very real response for women. While there aren’t any fail proof prevention methods, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. One of the main issues that people need to understand is that there is a lot of inaccurate information and myths surrounding breast cancer. Below you will find information on how a breast reduction can lower your risk of breast cancer, some common prevention measures you can take, a few common myths debunked, and why a breast reduction may be right for you.
Can a Breast Reduction Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer?
According to researchers, women who have a breast reduction surgery can possibly decrease their risk of getting breast cancer. Depending on how much of the breast tissue is taken out during the procedure, women can reduce their risk by about 60% by getting a reduction. For someone who was already considering a reduction this is a great additional benefit. If a breast reduction was not a prior consideration, this statistic is promising in terms of women’s breast health.
What Are Some Helpful Prevention Measures?
Researchers have determined that certain lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of getting breast cancer. Below you will find some of the common prevention measures researchers have found helpful.
- Weight Management: Managing your weight is crucial. For those who are overweight or obese, the risk for getting breast cancer is higher. This is especially true for those who gain weight after menopause.
- Physical Activity: Living a sedentary lifestyle is problematic and can lead to weight gain. Staying active at least three to four times a week for thirty to forty-five minutes is good for your overall health and for preventing breast cancer.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol consumption increases your risk of breast cancer. Medical professionals suggest limiting yourself to less than one drink each day.
- No Smoking: There is a link between smoking and breast cancer, especially in premenopausal women. Medical professionals suggest that you do not smoke.
Myth v. Fact
Below you will find some of the common myths about breast cancer debunked. Information is key when it comes to prevention. Knowing what medical professionals have researched and understand about breast cancer is integral to protecting yourself.
Fact: Plastic surgery does not cause breast cancer.
The myth that plastic surgery causes breast cancer is false. For women who want to enhance or reduce their breast size, there is no causal link between breast cancer and plastic surgery. In fact, a reduction can decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.
Myth: You have to have a family history to get breast cancer.
The fact is that anyone can get breast cancer. While family history is a risk factor, only ten percent of patients get breast cancer due to family history. Everyone should take the necessary precautions as the risk of breast cancer applies to all women.
Fact: There are effective prevention measures for those with an inherited risk.
While family history is a risk factor, you can take preventative action to reduce your risk. You can also get genetic testing done which can help you determine what prevention measures to take based on your risk.
Benefits of a Breast Reduction Procedure
There are multiple benefits that can come from a breast reduction procedure. While one of the most helpful is the potential reduction of your risk of getting breast cancer, there are multiple additional benefits that may improve your life. If you experience any of the following, a breast reduction may be right for you.
- Chronic pain your back, neck, and shoulders (some pain may even require medication)
- Chronic rashes or skin irritation under your breasts
- Restricted activity due to the size of your breasts
- Lowered self-esteem due to the large size of your breasts
- Difficulty finding clothing and undergarments that fit
Breast Reduction in Southern California
Dr. Brent Moelleken is a well-known cosmetic surgeon with years of experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is one of the most highly trained surgeons in the country and received his training at Harvard, Yale, and UCLA. He has also been selected as one of Vogue Magazine’s “Top 10 Plastic Surgeons in America.” Contact Dr. Brent’s office today for a consultation.