Breast health should be a yearlong priority, says Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr.
NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Each October, American women are urged
to make annual mammograms and breast self-exams a priority during National
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). But breast health should be of ongoing
importance to women all year long, says Dr. Scott Zevon, a leading plastic
surgeon practicing at Central Park Plastic Surgery in New York. There are
several ways that women can maintain good breast health year-round.
Improve the Diet, Exercise Regularly
Diet and exercise are especially important factors in maintaining breast health.
A variety of studies have shown that obesity increases the likelihood of breast
cancer after menopause; a likely trigger is the amount of estrogen produced by
fatty tissue. Maintaining a healthy weight and having a diet containing plenty
of fruit and vegetables is thought to decrease risk. Alcohol consumption has
also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, and the risk increases
according to the amount of alcohol consumed. Exercise may decrease hormone
levels and that in turn reduces the risk of breast cancer; conversely, physical
inactivity has been associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Examine the Breasts
In addition to conducting a full physical self-exam each month, women should
routinely examine their breasts for any of the following: lumps or knots;
swelling or redness; change in breast size or shape; dimpled or puckered skin; a
sore or rash on the nipple; and discharge from the nipple. Women should also
note if pain develops in a breast that does not abate. A woman noticing any of
these changes should discuss them with her health care professional.
Understand the Genetic Link
While genetics are not always at play in the development of breast cancer, women
should understand how genetics affect the likelihood of developing breast
cancer. Risk is highest if a woman has a "first-degree" family member (such as a
mother or sister) who developed breast cancer, which roughly doubles the chances
of developing breast cancer. The risk also increases if a father or brother has
had the disease. If any of these familial risk factors are evident, women should
be especially vigilant with physical self-exams and regular visible examination.
Women with a family history of breast cancer may consider having genetic testing
for mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which is the most common cause of
hereditary breast cancer. Some women who discover the presence of one of these
genes opt for prophylactic mastectomies to eliminate the possibility of cancer.
While National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time for take
proactive steps toward prevention, breast health should be on a woman's mind
every month of the year, says Dr. Zevon. Combined with regular mammograms and
self-exams, diet, exercise, and genetic awareness improve a woman's odds against
breast cancer. By making breast health a priority year-round, women can reduce
their chances of developing breast cancer.
About Central Park Plastic Surgery: Scott J. Zevon, MD, FACS, has been featured
in New York Magazine as one of the Best Doctors in New York and is listed in the
Castle Connolly directory Best Doctors in New York. The Central Park Plastic
Surgery offices and AAAASF-accredited ambulatory surgical facility are located
at 75 Central Park West, New York, New York 10023. He can be reached by phone at
212-496-6600 or at http://www.drzevon.com.
Media Contact: Mary Monahan, 212-496-6600, http://www.drzevon.com.
Read more news from Central Park Plastic Surgery.
SOURCE Central Park Plastic Surgery