How To Maintain Breast Health Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer and Benign Breast Diseases Some risk factors for breast cancer and benign (noncancerous) breast diseases are out of your control, such as your age and family history of breast disease. But you can follow these guidelines to maintain good breast health and help reduce your risk: Be active. It’s vital to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. Whether you take a walk on your lunch break, run on the treadmill, or work to keep your garden looking its best, make sure you get exercise doing something you’ll stick with. Eat healthy. Lower your fat intake by cutting back on fried food, processed food, and high-fat dairy products. Try to eat seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day — especially dark green and orange vegetables and dark-colored fruits. Either avoid alcohol or limit yourself to three to five drinks per week. Know your breasts. Be familiar with how they feel and change. Examine your breasts every month. Stay up to date with your breast screenings. Clinical breast exams and mammograms are crucial for detecting breast cancer and other breast diseases. Call 413-794-8899 to schedule a breast exam. Your Normal Breast Your breasts change in size, shape, and firmness throughout your life. These changes occur because of hormones. Your breast changes begin at puberty and continue through monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Hormonal changes can cause even normal, healthy breasts to feel lumpy at times. By knowing what’s normal for your breasts and how they feel on a daily or monthly basis, you’ll be better able to notice any new or unusual lumps or changes. Learn how to perform an effective breast self-exam.