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IF YOU ARE A YOUNG WOMAN


Influence others to take control of their breast health

Now that you have the facts about breast cancer, you can inform and influence others to take control of their breast health. Here are three easy ways that you can put your knowledge into action:

Influence-others

  • Talk about it. Share what you know with the women around you, such as friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. Informal conversation is a great way to get breast cancer information out in the open and get more people talking about how the disease can affect them and what they can do to reduce their own risk.

  • Lead by example. You are the perfect person to show others how to lead a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of breast cancer. By eating smart, being active, and limiting the alcohol, you can inspire others to follow in your steps and take control of their breast health.

  • Run a campaign. With the information and resources on this website, you can start your very own Hook Up to Breast Cancer Prevention campaign in your school or community. The purpose of a campaign is to help spread awareness of the breast cancer risk factors to other young women in a creative and engaging way. For campaign ideas or more information on how to start a campaign, click here.

Want to share with us some ideas to bring up the topic with your friends? Come post them in our page!

 
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Other questions you might have

Does tobacco use increase my risk of breast cancer?

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While the evidence has not been conclusive, there is growing research linking tobacco use to an increased risk of breast cancer (whether you actively smoke or inhale second-hand smoke). Research suggests that you may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of tobacco smoke if you begin smoking in adolescence. This is because adolescence is a period of rapid development for the breasts, so the breast tissue may be more susceptible to cancer-causing agents. To improve your health and reduce your breast cancer risk, it is recommended that you quit smoking (or donít take it up) and avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke.

How does being on the birth control pill (or patch) affect my risk of breast cancer?

Being on the birth control pill or contraceptive patch can lead to a small increase in your risk for breast cancer. But the good news is that when you stop using the pill or patch, your risk for breast cancer drops back down, over a period of several years.

Does wearing deodorant increase my risk of breast cancer?

At this time, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that using deodorant or antiperspirant increases your risk for breast cancer. Although a few studies have suggested a possible link, those studies have been critiqued for their methodology. More research continues to be done on this topic.

Can sleeping in a bra cause breast cancer?

At this time there is no scientific evidence that shows a link between sleeping in a bra and developing breast cancer.

Are there chemicals in the environment that I should be concerned about?

Our knowledge of which environmental chemicals can cause breast cancer (and how) is not complete. One chemical currently being studied is bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in plastic containers and tin cans. Some research suggests that BPA may mimic or disrupt hormones (in this case, estrogen) and can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. However, scientists disagree about the results of these studies and more research continues to be done. Parabens, which are preservatives used in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, are also being researched as a potential risk for breast cancer. Parabens are absorbed through the skin, and they have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumours. Some researchers have suggested that parabens increase the risk of breast cancer by mimicking the effects of estrogen, however, more research is needed to establish this link.

Should I be doing regular breast self-exams?

Itís normal for a womanís breasts to change with her menstrual cycle, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, after weight loss, and as she ages Ė and every womanís breasts are different. So while itís not necessary to follow a specific routine for examining your breasts, itís important to ďBe Breast AwareĒ. This means knowing what is normal for your breasts at different times. Be familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel so that you notice any changes. Any unusual change should be reported to your health care provider for follow-up. Learn more at: http://www.cbcf.org/breastcancer/bc_aware.asp

 
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Limit the alcohol PDF Print E-mail

The Risk:

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Alcohol is the most commonly used substance by teenage girls and young women: 60% of female high school students and 87% of female university students drink alcohol, and about one quarter of those young women binge drink (have 5 or more drinks on one occasion). Research shows that if you drink alcohol, even at low levels, you are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer. Whether you drink wine, beer, or liquor, your risk of breast cancer increases as more alcohol is consumed.

The Message:

Canadaís low-risk drinking guidelines recommend that women limit themselves to between 0 and 2 drinks on any given occasion. A standard drink is considered one 12 ounce bottle of beer (5% alcohol), one 5 ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol), or one 1.5 ounce shot of liquor (40% alcohol).


The Strategies:

  • Offer to be the designated driver for your friends when they are going to be drinking.

  • Limit your alcohol intake by only bringing one or two drinks to a party.

  • Pace yourself and drink slowly so that you donít consume too many drinks too fast.

  • Alternate a drink of water or cola between alcoholic beverages, so you reduce the total amount of alcohol you drink.

  • Choose to stay sober at parties and other social events.

Girls who got the message say:

† ††

Drinking is something I do at my age, but itís something I can easily change.
I donít binge drink anymore because of this info.
I donít drink anyway and now Iím not going to start.

 
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Get physical PDF Print E-mail

The Risk:

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Research shows that young women like you tend to be less physically active than guys, and become even less active as you get older. However, the evidence shows that if you exercise regularly at this stage of your life, you will have a substantially lower risk of developing breast cancer in the future. One study showed that women in their 30s and 40s who were moderately active between the ages of 12 and 22 lowered their risk of breast cancer by 23%.

The Message:


Canadaís Physical Activity Guide for Youth recommends that teens get at least 90 minutes of physical activity per day for healthy growth and development. You can start by adding 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine, and over time, slowly build up the time you are active.

The Strategies:

  • Walk or ride your bike to school/work a couple days each week.

  • Try a new activity class with a friend, such as hip-hop dance, aerobics, or martial arts.

  • Whenever you have the option, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

  • Get off the bus or subway one stop before normal and walk the extra distance.

  • Choose active things to do when hanging out with friends, such as going for a swim or hike, playing tennis, going dancing, etc.

Girls who got the message say:


Iím starting to walk to school more often.

I wanted to be more active Ė this gave me the motivation to do it.

I joined a gym and itís been two months that Iíve been going now.

 
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Eat smart PDF Print E-mail

Eating Smart!The Risk:


When you maintain a healthy body weight, by eating healthy and being active, you reduce your risk of breast cancer. We know that eating patterns are developed in the teenage years and early twenties. However, at this stage of life, when you take control over your eating choices, you are also exposed to fad diets and fast food. And although you likely have a high level of nutritional awareness, your exposure to fast food coupled with time constraints leads to poor attention to healthy eating guidelines.

The Message:


If you develop healthy eating patterns now, you are likely to continue following those patterns later in life and reduce your risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy body weight. It is generally recommended that your diet be low in fat and processed foods, and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

The Strategies:

  • Increase the amount of fruit you eat by adding it to your cereal, yogurt, and salads.

  • When time is short and you need a fast meal, use frozen vegetables to make a quick stir fry.

  • Challenge yourself to cut back on the number of fast food meals you eat each week.

  • Choose whole wheat pastas, bread and rice instead of the white alternatives.

  • For easy snacks, choose fresh fruits and vegetable that are in season.

Girls who got the message say:


Iím more aware of how Iím meeting Canadaís Food Guide now.

I try to eat healthier, less junk food, drink water.

Iím eating way more fruits and veggies!

 
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