HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - If you are having trouble making a new year's resolution, how about resolving to improve you health, specifically breast health. Hattiesburg Clinic surgeon Dr. William Whitehead explained reducing your risk of breast cancer starts with early detection.
"Breast self examination is certainly a tool that all ladies over the age of 15 probably need to be using on a regular basis," Whitehead said.
Dr. Whitehead stated even though 20 percent of breast cancers don't show up on mammograms, it's still a vital step in prevention.
"When they reach the appropriate age, 35 to 40, ladies need to really become committed to do annual mammograms," Whitehead said.
He said obesity can increase your risk of breast cancer, so evaluate your lifestyle.
"Reduce alcohol intake, not to excess, smoking has an impact on the incidences of breast cancer," Whitehead said. "Exercise helps reduce the risk of breast cancer."
For women who are going through menopause, Whitehead recommended you should consult your doctor before taking supplements like estrogen.
"The use of hormone replacement therapy past the age of natural menopause increases the risk of breast cancer," Whitehead said.
Lastly, if you have a family history of breast cancer, Dr. Whitehead suggested women consider genetic testing.
"There are genetic screenings that we offer patients that have a high incidence of family members that have breast cancer or ovarian cancer that can give them advice as to how to manage that risk going forward," Whitehead said.
Dr. Whitehead said following these tips can not only lead to prevention, but a better you for the new year.
If you want to contact Dr.Whitehead or want more information on these tips visit The Breast Center here: www.hattiesburgclinic.com/department/breast-centermammography