Breast Cancer Body Check

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Breast Cancer Body Check

Survivors of childhood cancer can protect themselves from a future cancer diagnosis

You were voted "most likely to succeed at anything" in your high school yearbook. That's probably because you fought off something much stronger than teenage bullies and peer pressure: You beat cancer.

Conquering cancer as a child or teen is an undeniable feat of strength and courage. But as any cancer survivor knows, winning that battle is only part of the war. If you're a young woman who received radiation to your chest during treatment, you could be at increased risk for developing breast cancer as you get older. Take this quick body scan to make sure you're doing all you can to avoid potential breast cancer risks.

Brain
Know your family history. If you have a close relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer, your risk is increased.

Mouth
It's important to tell your health-care provider about your cancer treatment history, including the dose of chest radiation that you received. Arrange for your healthcare provider to obtain a written summary of your cancer treatment.

Lungs
Limit your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides. Use protective equipment if you're exposed to chemicals in your workplace. And if you smoke, quit.

Breasts
Perform a monthly breast self-exam and report any lumps or changes to your health-care provider right away. Have your provider perform a clinical breast exam at least annually until you reach age 25, then every six months thereafter. Have a yearly mammogram and breast MRI starting at age 25 or eight years after you received radiation (whichever comes last).

Uterus
If you began menstruating before age 12, entered menopause after age 55, never had a baby or had your first baby after age 30, your breast cancer risk is increased.

Stomach
Being overweight and inactive are two risk factors. Lose weight by exercising at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, reducing the amount of high-fat foods and alcohol from your diet and eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Support for Life

Survivors of pediatric cancer treated at City of Hope can continue to get long-term follow-up care at the medical center. For more information, please e-mail survivorship@coh.org.

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