By now we know that family both does - and does not - play a role in your risk for breast cancer, genetically speaking.
Family and genetics, as we have discussed, play an important role in about 10 -15 % of breast cancers. But there’s another way you can play a role in your family with regards to breast cancer: be an encouraging voice for healthy choices.
When it comes to the fight against breast cancer, there are several proactive steps that make sense for your health overall and may reduce your risk for breast cancer: engage in healthy behaviors like exercise, disengage from unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking too much, be proactive by getting annual screening mammograms and clinical breast examinations.
If you are concerned for the health of the women in your family, or the friends who are like family, you can help. Be a walking or running buddy. Discourage smoking (without nagging). Be active and open about breast health.
Use Your Words
There are many ways to be open and helpful about breast health. If you go in for your mammogram, be open and frank about it: send an email to friends and family to say “I just took care of myself - your turn to take care of yourself!” Offer to take the kids one afternoon on Mother’s Day Weekend so your wife and her friends can get together for a walk, run or bike ride. Pick a day and make it the annual let’s-remember-mammograms holiday, and go with your loved ones for support!
Sometimes the hardest part of wanting to help is not knowing what to do. One of the easiest things to do is talk - it requires no physical labor, no special foods, no computer knowledge... you can just talk. Say it’s important to you. Say they’re important to you. Talk to your family and friends. Let them know you care.
Originally posted 5/10/13 on mammographykc.com.