According to statistics, breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among African American women, and one in eight women will have breast cancer in their lifetime, but most can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Dr. Katina Kennedy stops by the Get Up Church to give us Breast Cancer tips and preventative information.
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What are some things that women and men can do to prevent contracting breast cancer?
Preventative care is key so getting your mammograms, getting screened, and doing your clinical breast exams, but lack of exercise, we have to start exercising. Being non-active, obese, or overweight actually increases one’s chance of acquiring Breast Cancer. Also, we must eat healthy foods, avoiding foods that are like high in saturated fat, such as beef, pork, a lot of butter and a lot of cheese. You want to avoid those types of foods. And then also remember, a colorful plate is what you need. You want to make sure you have a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Also, vitamins D, and E, are some supplements that you can take. Also, you got to decrease that alcohol intake for those of you who love your wines. You got to be cognizant of that. So watch your alcohol intake because that actually increases the estrogen, which actually increases the risk of Breast Cancer.
Some men get breast cancer but it ain’t no mammogram they can take right?
Actually no, but men can actually, you know, do their breast self-exam. So check your chest, all right, because you do have the breast tissue there. Also, you if you do find a lump, guess what you can get a mammogram and an ultrasound. I just had a patient the other day a male patient I had to send for them. Fortunately, it wasn’t breast cancer, but he detected it by you know, checking himself. His testosterone was low, but his estrogen was actually elevated. So high estrogen levels in men. Yeah, can cause increased lumpy breasts or breast cancer.
At what age should we start getting mammograms?
So I personally do a baseline screening mammogram between the ages of 35 and 39. But the guidelines actually say you don’t go for a mammogram until age 50. However, no, I don’t recommend that. Yes, they changed the guidelines. I know. So I still recommend going starting at the age of 40 once a year. And of course, if you have an immediate family history like a sister, a mother, or grandparents, then you want to go earlier. Definitely.
The importance of self-breast exams, who should be doing them? And how often should they be doing them?
Men and women, do your self-breast exam once a month, all right? For women, if you still have your periods, you do want to make sure you do it about one to two weeks after your period. Because if you do it before, sometimes our breasts are tender, and then they’re lumpier as well. We do get hormonal cysts during that time. So you may be scared because you feel a lot but it’s gonna be related to your period. So you want to check your breasts after your period goes off. And men just pick a day. If you don’t have your periods then pick us out of the month and then you do the same thing as well.
You can follow Dr. Kennedy on Instagram at @Drkatina_drk
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