In case you didn’t know, it’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is just around the corner. Bright Pink is on a mission to move beyond Awareness to Action and Aerie is with us! AerieREAL is committed to women’s empowerment through self-love. What better way to love yourself than to take control of your health and well-being and manage your risk of breast and ovarian cancer?
Aerie Wants You to Take Care of Your Girls!
Before we share how you can make both little and big changes in your everyday life for a bright cancer-free future, know that the limited-edition sports bra, legging and hoodie you’ll see throughout this article, are all for sale and 100% of the proceeds benefit Bright Pink and our life-saving mission!
The first step towards prevention for anyone with breasts and/or ovaries is to assess our hereditary and lifestyle factors.
Aerie is also donating $1 for EVERY risk assessment through October. It takes only 3 minutes to take the quiz and learn your risk and receive personalized recommendations to manage your health proactively.
Cancer is a formidable disease. But we do not need to live in fear. We have the tools to set ourselves up for long, happy, healthy lives. And we do this by thinking, talking and acting proactively to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer through a number of evidence-based actions.
Recent research shows that more than 40% of cancer deaths could be prevented through lifestyle strategies. Of those, early detection is among the most impactful.
When breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year survival rate can be 98%.
When ovarian cancer is detected early, the 5-year survival rate can be 92%.
The human body is amazing—and when we adopt strategies and practice daily habits that support the body’s natural disease-fighting instincts, we can reduce our cancer risk factors. Knowledge is power.
So here are 8 ways to be proactive when it comes to your breast and ovarian health.
1. Break a Sweat
Fitting in a quick 30-minute workout 5 day per week—or fewer, longer workouts if that’s more convenient—will help eliminate some of the estrogen-producing fatty tissue in our bodies.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of exercise, vigorous enough to break a sweat, each week. So grab a fitness buddy and your limited edition Aerie athletic wear and work it out.
2. Fill Your Plate with Healthy Foods
A diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduces our risk of developing “invasive” breast cancer, a version of the disease that is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
Improving eating habits doesn’t have to happen all at once; we suggest working with your doctor to decrease sugar consumption and introduce more fruits and vegetables, until you’re eating well and feeling great.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight for You
Talk to your health care advisor about what a healthy weight means for you.
Scientific studies show that an excess of the estrogen hormone increases the risk of developing breast cancer. And maintaining a healthy weight is a way to keep your estrogen levels in check.
4. Find Alternatives to Happy Hour
Get in the habit of having no more than one alcoholic drink per day, or working towards eliminating alcohol completely.
Research shows that every additional standard-sized boozy drink per day can increase the risk of breast cancer. “Standard-sized” generally means a restaurant pour of wine, a can of beer, or a shot of liquor.
5. Say No to Smoke
There’s a direct correlation between tobacco use and ovarian cancer. In fact, smoking doubles our risk of developing the disease.
The good news is that quitting smoking can lower ovarian cancer risk to average levels within 20-30 years. That may sound like a long time, but it’s a great example of how the body can bounce back from unhealthy habits.
6. Ask Your Doc About the Pill
Research has shown that taking birth control pills for 5 years in our 20s and 30s—and it doesn’t have to be 5 years in a row—can reduce our ovarian cancer risk by up to 50%. That makes taking oral contraceptives, one of the most powerful methods of ovarian cancer risk reduction.
Side note: you may have heard that taking birth control pills can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. There is a minimal, but real, increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who use hormonal oral contraceptives for 5 or more years. Research indicates that this risk decreases over time after you stop taking contraceptives. However, as with most health decisions, the choice whether or not to take birth control pills is very personal. Talk with your healthcare provider to weigh the potential risks and benefits as part of your proactive plan.
Assess Your Risk & Aerie Will Donate $1 to Bright Pink
7. Know Your Normal
It can be hard to diagnose the symptoms of ovarian cancer, since they are so similar to symptoms of other problems. Try to stay aware of any digestion issues, pelvic or abdominal pains, or pains during intercourse that persist and prompt a visit to your doctor.
Check in with your breasts regularly to know what is normal for you. (the week after your period is a good time). Remember to cover all of your breast tissue (from your collarbone, out to your armpits, down to your breastbone) and notice any changes in size, shape, bumps, lumps, dimpling, or pulling that are out of the ordinary for you.
8. Assess Your Risk
Aerie is Donating $1 for EVERY Completed Risk Assessment. This is the time to take the 3 minute quiz.
When it comes to breast and ovarian cancer prevention, it’s essential to think, talk, and act proactively.
The first step towards prevention for anyone with breasts and/or ovaries is to assess our hereditary and lifestyle factors. By knowing our risk factors, we empower and protect ourselves. And by taking care of our bodies through healthy choices, we reduce our risk.
Right now, you can learn your personal cancer risk in just 3 minutes by taking the Assess Your Risk (AYR) quiz. Plus, AYR provides simple, personalized steps to take charge of your breast and ovarian health.
Try the tool that has helped more than 1.5 million women gain power over their health and plan proactively to protect themselves from breast and ovarian cancer.
Here’s a simple first step—take the Assess Your Risk quiz today!
We can’t get enough of our latest collection with Aerie. It is so good! If you’re loving it as much as us, remember Aerie is donating 100% of the sales to Bright Pink—even more of a reason to shop before it’s gone.