News & Updates

Back to All News

Main Line Health urges women to take charge of their breast health in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Lankenau Medical Center October 18, 2016 News Releases

As the recent breast cancer screening recommendations released by the American Cancer Society continue to raise concerns across the medical community and among patients, Main Line Health reminds women that they have the ability to take charge of their breast health by taking proactive steps toward reducing their risk factors. From following a healthy diet to using safe beauty products and researching genetic testing opportunities, there are factors that women can control.

“Most breast cancers are related to how you lead your life, and it’s important to get to and stick to a healthy weight and exercise regularly,” says Marisa Weiss, MD, breast oncologist at Lankenau Medical Center and president and founder of breastcancer.org. “What you’re eating, what you’re drinking, what you’re breathing in, medicines you’re taking, personal products you’re using—these can all affect your breast health. The good news is that many of these factors can be modified to immediately lower your risk.”

Here are some of the most common things you can do—starting today—to decrease your cancer risk:

  • Eat healthy and exercise often – A healthy diet, such as a Mediterranean diet, in addition to a regular fitness routine—working out three-to four hours a week (five-to seven are even better)—are important components of a healthy lifestyle, and that includes cancer prevention.
  • Stop smoking – While smoking is most often considered a risk factor for lung cancer, the truth is that smoking can be a risk factor for almost every type of cancer. If you are currently a smoker, stop. The benefits of quitting smoking begin immediately, and the sooner you quit, the lower your cancer risk.
  • Limit alcohol intake – There is room for alcohol in your diet, but limit it to five or fewer drinks a week (three or fewer is even better). Equivalent drinks relative to alcohol content are: 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, 1.5 oz hard liquor.
  • Avoid using cleaning and personal products that contain chemicals linked to cancer – research cleaning and personal care products (like makeup and shampoo) to find out if they contain chemicals that may be carcinogenic. To be safe, use personal care products in well-ventilated areas, open the window or turn on the bathroom fan when using products such as dryer sheets, fabric softeners, deodorizing sprays, all-purpose cleaners, dishwashing detergents, hand sanitizers, and lotions.
  • Schedule your mammogram – Depending on your family history and other risk factors, you may need to begin screenings earlier than recommended. It’s important to talk with your physician about the appropriate time to begin regular screenings.
  • Ask about genetic risk assessments – Learn about the role of genes, what to look for in your own family tree and what to do if you suspect a genetic cancer risk. Talk to your physician and learn more about genetic risk assessments.
  • Think Pink, Live Green – Protect your breast health with education. Learn about risk factors in your environment, and how changing what you and your family eats, drinks, breathes and uses every day may reduce breast cancer risk. Visit livegreen.breastcancer.org to learn more.

“Following these breast healthy steps can also lower your risk of other cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis,” adds Weiss.

Main Line Health is dedicated to improving breast health for women of all ages. We offer a comprehensive range of breast care services to meet a woman’s physical and emotional needs. Visit our website to learn more about Main Line Health's breast health services.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health's commitment—to deliver advanced medicine for treating and curing disease, playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to be the region's premier choice for clinical care, research, and education. A team of more than 10,000 employees, 3,000 nurses and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health System.

At Main Line Health's core are four of the region's most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation's premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region's largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care, and service, including U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, System Magnet® designation; the nation's highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect, equity, and inclusion, has proudly received awards in this area and has embraced the American Hospital Association's #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education, and research to help patients stay healthy and live their best lives.

For more information, visit mainlinehealth.org and connect with us on social media:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/main-line-health
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainlinehealth
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainlinehealth
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mainlinehealth