(CARLSBAD, CA) – Breast cancer - one in eight women will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. That diagnosis kicks off a plethora of examinations, treatments and procedures as each woman fights her personal battle against the disease.
What about you? Have you started your battle yet? If you’re waiting for the diagnosis, then you’re getting a late start. In fact, the two biggest weapons in your arsenal against breast cancer – prevention and early detection – happen long before your visit to the doctor’s office.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett has raised and donated millions of dollars towards breast cancer research and awareness. Here she shares the most important tools that she has learned for prevention and early detection of breast cancer.
Prevention: There is no guarantee that you can ward off the disease altogether, but there is mounting evidence that a healthy lifestyle minimizes your risk for breast cancer.
You are what you eat. In one recent study, Asian women were reported to have one-fifth the breast cancer rate of U.S. women, with their vegetable-rich diet cited as the number one probable cause for the difference. Try sneaking a few more fruits and veggies into your diet this month, not only for yourself, but also to set a good example for your mothers, sisters, daughters, and nieces. Aren’t they worth it?
Get moving! Research from the University of Wisconsin shows that women who exercise six hours per week are 20-30 percent less likely to get breast cancer. Six hours may seem like a daunting task, so break it up. Perhaps you attend a 45-minute exercise class in the morning and take a brisk walk for 15 minutes after dinner. That’s one hour! Keep it up for the rest of the week and you’ve just reduced your breast cancer risk by almost one-third.
Early Detection: Cancer that is diagnosed when it is still in the localized stage is much more treatable. In fact, 98 percent of women who catch tumors at this stage are still alive five years later.
Perform self exams. Put it on your calendar or set up a monthly reminder on your calendar. You need to perform a self exam every single month. Use an up-and-down pattern and remember to include your underarms. If you faithfully perform self-exams each month, then you’ll learn how your breasts feel, and you’ll be more likely to notice an abnormality if it arises.
Ask about a mammogram. Talk to your doctor about a screening mammogram. These X-rays of your breasts can reveal tumors before they can be felt by a manual exam. If your insurance doesn’t cover the procedure until a certain age, you may qualify early based upon family history or other risk factors. Don’t be shy when inquiring about these potentially life-saving procedures.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.