October is breast cancer awareness month. But here is to remind us that breast cancer does not choose any month to strike. The Philippines has the highest breast cancer rate in Asia. An estimated 3 out of 100 Filipino women contract the disease before age 75. All the more we should not brush off the importance of awareness and prevention. Below are some smart reproductive heath guidelines we need to tick off soonest. These are prepared by OB-Gyne Dr. Faith Suluen. These tips, by the way, are not solely for breast cancer prevention but for other types of cancer, too.
Smart Reproductive Health Guideline #1:
Record Menstrual Cycle
Have a record of our first and last day of menstruation. Include bleeding pattern if necessary and the number of pads used throughout the cycle. Take note of cramps, dysmenorrhea or any unusual experience worth mentioning to our OB. “Normal menstrual cycle interval is 21 to 35 days. Shorter than that causes anemia while beyond that period makes it harder to conceive at any age,”reminds Dr. Faith.
Smart Reproductive Health Guideline #2:
A way to decrease the risk of breast cancer is taking care of our overall well-being. And that includes staying within normal weight range, having regular physical activity, consuming fruits and vegetables, and lessening the intake of any fatty food. “Since most cancers are inflammatory in nature, include omega-9 rich food found in olive oil, nuts, and fruits like avocado. The nutrients and phytochemicals which are abundant in fresh produce also help combat disease and even play a role in prevention,” adds Philippine-USA registered Dietitian-Nutritionist Cheshire Que.
Smart Reproductive Health Guideline #3:
Elevate Hygiene Routine
Dr. Faith shares an important reminder to us, ladies. To keep our intimate area clean and dry, she advises us to practice front to back wiping whenever we go on a trip to the toilet. Also, we should avoid tight-fitting pants and silk and ruffled underwear as these may trap warmth and moisture that cause irritation and encourage bacterial growth. It is also important to change sanitary pad and panty liner every four to six hours. This is to keep us fresh and odor-free.
Smart Reproductive Health Guideline #4:
Yes to Self-Breast Examination; No to Self-Medication
Annually, let us submit to a breast ultrasound (those under 40) or mammogram (those 40 years old and above) check up. It will not hurt if we do a self-breast examination, too. Ideally, it is regularly done 7 days after each monthly period. Simple technique: Move fingers around the entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center and check the entire breast and armpit area. We need to take note of any lump, thickening, and hardened knot, and report the result to our OB Gyne.
Smart Reproductive Health Guideline #5:
Schedule Regular Gynecological Exam
Dr. Faith reminds that it is recommended to have an annual pap smear check up once there is a sexual contact by age 21. Getting ourselves vaccinated while not yet sexually active is highly encouraged, too. It can decrease risk of developing cervical cancer. Those with a family history of cervical cancer are at greater risk of such disease. That said, Dr. Faith all the more prompts us to add these five tips on our yearly must-do for the sake of our health and sanity.
A friendly reminder from Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Napkin and Liners
These five smart reproductive health guidelines are brought to us by Wellgold International Inc., the distributer of Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Napkin and Liners. Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Napkins and Liners are available at leading supermarkets, select drug outlets, and other stores nationwide. For convenience, we may opt to purchase via www.lazada.com.ph. They do free delivery as well.
Interested to learn more health tips? Check Momi Berlin’s Directory: