For the breast cancer awareness month, there’s nothing we ever want in life than keeping ourselves in the pink of health whatever is our age and life stage. Just because no one is exempted from this disease, the more we shouldn’t brush off the importance of awareness and prevention. So see how soon you can check off all these smart reproductive health guidelines from Dr. Faith Suluen, OB-Gyn.
- Track Your Menstrual Cycle.
Always record the first up to the last day of your period, bleeding pattern, number of pads you used throughout your menstruation, signs and symptoms such as cramps, dysmenorrhea or any unusual experience worth mentioning to your OB. This habit not only will keep you track of your ovulation history, it will also arm you with period essentials such as medicines, food you should stock up on, plus effectively plan out your activities for the next 3 to 5 days. “Normal menstrual cycle interval is 21 to 35 days, shorter than that can sharply cause anemia while beyond that period could make it harder to conceive at any age,” says Dr. Faith.
Having your PMS or period during your busiest time of the week is worse enough, but getting caught without your Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Napkin is the worst! Remember that everybody is different, so is your period. Keeping yourself abreast with your cycle will keep your peace when Aunt Flow suddenly shows up.
- Eat Well and Don’t be a Couch Potato.
Although there’s no direct link that says diet is the culprit for breast cancer, staying with normal weight range, having regular physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as low saturated fat intake will promote general wellbeing and decrease the risk. “Since most cancers are inflammatory in nature, include omega-9 rich foods that can be found in olive oil, nuts, and fruits like avocado. The nutrients and phytochemicals which are abundant in fresh produce also help combat disease and even play a role in prevention,” adds Cheshire.
- Elevate your Hygiene Routine.
“To keep your intimate area clean and dry, practice front to back wiping whenever you go on a trip to the toilet. Let go of tight-fitting pants, underwear made of silk and ruffles, as these may trap warmth and moisture that may cause irritation and encourage bacterial growth. Change your sanitary pad and panty liner every 4 to 6 hours to keep yourself fresh and odor-free,” reminds Dr. Faith.
- Have a Self-Breast Examination but Never Self Medicate.
Ladies, time to step up your annual health check routine! Don’t scrimp nor make your breast ultrasound (if you’re under 40) or mammogram (for 40 years old and above) check up your least of priority, which are ideally conducted annually. As for the self-breast examination, which should be religiously practice 7 days after your monthly period, here’s a simple technique while in the shower: Move around your fingers to the entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center and check the entire breast and armpit area. Be wary of any lump, thickening, and hardened knot.
- Schedule Regular Gynecological Exam.
“Once there’s a sexual contact by age 21, you’re automatically recommended to have an annual pap smear check up. However, getting yourself vaccinated while not yet sexually active is highly encouraged as it can decrease your risk of developing cervical cancer,” advises Dr. Faith. And here’s the thing: Whether or not you have a sexual experience but a family history runs in your blood, there’s a chance it could be inherited. That said; make sure to add this to your list of yearly must-do, for the sake of your health and sanity.