October is national Breast Cancer Awareness month, dedicated to raising national consciousness about the 200,000 women who are diagnosed with the disease on yearly basis. Pennie’s Tea is dedicated to helping those who are going through treatment for the disease and we hope to provide tips that can help every person detect it early.

Breast cancer starts as a malignant tumor in the cells of the breast. These cancerous cells can grow into nearby tissues and spread into distant parts of the body. While there has not been a risk factor associated with breast cancer that has been proven to be consistent, there are lifestyle-related factors that can cause cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, personal behaviors such as smoking, drinking and diet can be negative factors. Other factors such as aging and lifestyle can also come into play.

Race and ethnicity has also been proven to be a factor in breast cancer diagnosis. The American Cancer Society found that white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, but African-American women are more likely to die of this type of cancer. A family history of breast cancer can also be a factor in detection. Having a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer has been proven to more than double a woman’s risk of developing the disease themselves.

While breast cancer cannot be prevented, living a healthier lifestyle can have an impact on lowering the risk of developing the disease. Below are a few more tips that could help you lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

  • Reduce your lifetime weight gain by limiting your calories and getting regular exercise
  • Avoid or limit your alcohol intake. Experts recommend women having no more than one alcoholic drink per day.
  • Get regular checkups with a physician and mammograms on a yearly basis. As women age, the risk of developing the disease increases.