Other Ladies First Resources

Breast Health Resources

There is no known cause of breast cancer so there is no sure way to prevent it. This is why getting regular mammograms is so important. There are some things you can do, however, that reduce your chance of getting breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Prevention Infographic

Some risk factors, like a person's age or race, can't be changed. Others are linked to cancer-causing factors in the environment. Still others are related to personal behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and diet. Some factors influence risk more than others, and your risk for breast cancer can change over time, due to factors such as aging or lifestyle. There are things that women can do to reduce their risk and to help increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it will be found at an early, more treatable stage.

  • Be physically active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity almost every day and for two strength-training sessions every week. Many women may need an hour a day or more of moderate physical activity to maintain a steady weight or to promote slow weight loss.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Find out what a healthy weight for you is and try to stay at that weight.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.
  • Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.
  • If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

other external resources

Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention — American Cancer Society resource
FORCE — Organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers
Casting for Recovery — The mission of Casting for Recovery is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.
Detecting Breast Cancer Early — National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc resource
Stowe Weekend of Hope — An annual weekend getaway dedicated to cancer survivors. 
Cervical Health Resources

Cervical cancer is usually a slow growing cancer that develops over many years. The changes that happen to the cervix can be seen by a Pap test, which is a simple test done during a pelvic exam. If the Pap test shows that abnormal cells are starting to grow these cells can be removed before they develop into cancer. Because of the Pap test, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent. It is also very curable when found and treated early. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk:

Cervical Cancer Prevention Infographic

  • Get a Pap test. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that may become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. You should start getting Pap tests at age 21.
  • Get an HPV test. The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to have regular screening tests starting at age 21.
  • Get an HPV vaccine. Two HPV vaccines are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Both vaccines are recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls, and for females 13 through 26 years of age who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger. These vaccines also can be given to girls as young as 9 years of age. It is recommended that females get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible. It is important to note that women who are vaccinated against HPV still need to have regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.
  • Use condoms during sex. HPV infection can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom, as well as in areas that are not covered. While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners. Make sure both you and your partners are getting tested often.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking can cause cancer and then block your body from fighting it.

other external resources

Cervical Cancer — CDC webpage with information on risk factors, prevention tips and more
Cancer Support Community — A global network offering uality cancer support to millions of people touched by cancer
National Cervical Cancer Coalition — Organization dedicated to helping women, family members and caregivers battle the personal issues related to cervical cancer and HPV and to advocate for cervical health in all women

Heart Health Resources

There are many things you can do to help lower your risk of heart disease.* Many of these are also proven cancer prevention strategies. These include:

Heart Health Prevention Infographic

  • Don’t smoke and avoid being around people who are smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, including heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer. Second hand smoke is a known human carcinogen. It has been linked to lung cancer.
  • Be physically active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity almost every day and for two strength-training sessions every week. Many women may need an hour a day or more of moderate physical activity to maintain a steady weight or to promote slow weight loss.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Find out what a healthy weight for you is and try to stay at that weight.
  • Eat healthy. Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber.Control your blood pressure. Try to keep it below 140/90.
  • Learn to manage stress. People with high levels of stress are more likely to develop heart disease. Find out what causes the most stress in your life and see if anything can be done to lessen that. Reach out to family and friends if you need to talk or need help with a hard situation. Try to find a few minutes every day to sit quietly or do something that’s fun or relaxing for you.

* If you already have heart disease these things can help decrease its severity or prevent it from getting worse.

other external resources

802Quits — Free resources to help quit smoking
Go Red For Women — American Heart Association resource to inspire women
Wisewoman — CDC program that provides services to promote heart-healthy lifestyles
BMI Calculator — American Heart Association resource
MyPlate — Create a personalized daily food plan
SuperTracker — Plan, track and analyze your food intake and activity

More resources