How to Educate Your Daughter about Breast Cancer

Although the cases of breast cancer among teenage girls in Singapore is small, it’s never too early to teach your daughter about breast cancer prevention and breast health, especially if you have a history of cancer in your family. To make this process easier and less awkward for you and your daughter, here are some helpful tips on how to discuss breast-related issues with your daughter.

1. Teach By Example

Even if your daughter would never admit it, she’ll look to you for guidance and if she sees you are taking care of your own breasts, it’ll encourage her to take care of hers as well. As a mom, you can teach by demonstrating. You can model an overall healthy lifestyle, exercise, and limit your alcohol intake.

If possible, talk about the disease if it has occurred in a friend or a family member. Discuss about when they should be getting their first breast cancer screening tests, as well as the importance of being aware of the changes happening in their bodies. Remember that making breast cancer a comfortable topic to discuss will raise your daughter’s awareness of the disease and curiosity to learn more about it.

2. Encourage Her to Know Her Breasts

Breast awareness is the key to prevent breast cancer and catch it early enough for a successful treatment. As early as now, your daughter should get to know her breasts and be aware of the changes that’ll occur as she matures. As young girls enter puberty stage, their breasts go through some changes as they start to develop into the mature system of lobes and ducts. Unlike the breasts of older women, young breasts have a lesser proportion of fat compared to breast tissue, making them feel very dense. As she gets older, her breasts will start to become softer and feel looser, especially during and after being pregnant.

Inform your daughter that her breasts will go through such changes throughout her teen and young adult years. But if she happens to detect any unnatural changes in her breasts such as lumps, advise her to seek the help of her healthcare provider in getting breast cancer screening tests.

3. Inform Her About Your Breast Cancer Family History

One of the best things that you can do to protect your daughter from breast cancer is to let her know about any breast cancer history in your family. Make her understand that the disease could be passed on from generation to the next through a variety of mutated genes.

Before doing a screen for breast cancer in Singapore and apart from informing her about the medical history of first-degree relatives, you should also consider informing your child about the medical history of your second- and third-degree relatives. By doing this, your daughter will be able to properly inform her doctor about your family history by the time she undergoes several clinical exams and breast cancer screening Singapore tests.

4. Raise Breast Cancer Awareness Without Using Fear

How you approach your daughter about breast cancer influences her feelings and thoughts about the disease. You certainly wouldn’t want to bring up the issue in a way that keeps her up at night worrying whether or not she has it, particularly given that teenage girls rarely get diagnosed with the disease.

The incidence of breast cancer among teen girls is so small that it isn’t often reported in the national breast cancer statistics. Still, Singapore health experts believe that sensibly talking about the disease will make it less frightening for your daughter and will greatly help in empowering her to be proactive about her own breast health.

5. Urge Her to Join Breast Cancer Awareness Groups and Programs

Although no cure has still been found for breast cancer, early detection and education programs continue to serve as women’s strong defences against the disease. So encourage your daughter to take part in breast cancer awareness groups that push women, young and old alike, to know what is normal for their own breasts and to seek their doctor’s advice regarding any changes in their breasts.

You and your daughter can learn more and help spreading awareness about the disease by getting involved in groups that promote breast cancer campaigns. Through this, women of all ages are able to educate themselves and get their friends involved in their own breast health.

Other Quick Tips to Teen Breast Health

Apart from the aforementioned tips, you can also use the following checklist to teach your daughter about breast cancer and their breast health.

• Encourage her to be aware of her breast health, and to inform you or a doctor if there’s a persistent change in her breasts that just doesn’t feel right.
• Inform your daughter’s physician about your family history of breast cancer, and discuss its risk factors and prevention with your daughter.
• Teach your daughter to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce her breast cancer risk.
• Motivate her to learn more about the disease so it’ll seem less frightening, and give her the ability to support relatives or friends who are diagnosed with the disease.
• Guide her towards quality books and websites that provide accurate information about breast health and cancer prevention strategies like breast self-exams, regular doctor visit and risk factor reduction

Teaching your daughter about the importance of breast health care and breast cancer prevention will surely keep her safe from the disease, and spread the awareness through her friends. So talk to your child about breast cancer today, and together, take the pledge to know your ‘girls’ more.

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