While there are many risk factors for breast cancer that are out of our hands, it’s comforting to know that there are some we can control.

Doesn’t it feel like Breast Cancer Awareness Month flew by? We were just preparing for it, and now it’s in the past. Like time itself, there are many aspects of breast cancer that we still don’t understand and can’t control.

There is no guaranteed way to prevent the disease. That said, research suggests there are many controllable factors that play an important role in breast cancer prevention.

Instead of focusing on the factors we can’t control, let’s channel the positivity and inspiration from Breast Cancer Awareness Month to focus on what we can do to lower our risk of developing breast cancer.

Know Your “Normal” –  Also known as breast self-awareness, it’s important to know what’s normal for your body.  If something feels strange, if you notice a bump, lump, discharge, or anything “off” about your breasts, then schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Practice Self Care  –  Don’t underestimate the importance of self care. Smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol intake – all of these habits are linked to developing breast cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising, you can drastically improve your overall quality of life, while lowering your risk.

Mammograms Save Lives  – The latest research suggests that annual mammograms – starting at age 40 – reduce death rates by 40 percent.  By getting regular mammograms you’ll sleep better knowing that you are healthy. And if something doesn’t look right, annual mammograms increase the odds that you’ll catch it early, while it’s still treatable.