Despite the primary life-nourishing role of our breasts, there is a lot of confusion out there surrounding breast health and oftentimes this confusion can lead to concern and outright fear. While the human breast is miraculous, almost every woman knows of someone who has had breast cancer, so it’s understandable that many women are afraid and have questions.

One of the biggest concerns for women is how hormone therapy might affect their breasts. After the risks with combination HRT were found to outweigh its benefits, investigators discontinued that branch of the Women’s Health Initiative, and millions of women were taken off HRT or stopped on their own to protect them from heart disease, stroke and breast cancer, among other health risks. The other arm, Premarin alone was stopped more recently because of the increase in stroke risk (not breast cancer). But women understandably want to know what all of this means for them as individuals. What are the risks of breast cancer in women after taking conventional forms of HRT, such as Premarin and Prempro? Are there any risks associated with bioidentical estrogens and progesterone?

Like most things in life, breast health is highly personal. Women have different family histories, different lives and exposures, and there are few hard and fast rules. Even breast mammograms — once the gold standard for breast cancer prevention — are now being questioned. We do know that diet, lifestyle and stress relief play important roles in disease prevention, and these are places in our daily lives where we get to have a say. And though we still have a long way to go, we’ve made good progress and learn more every day.

From reports about hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer to the amount of broccoli you eat and the kind of bra you wear, we are given so much information — and misinformation — about maintaining breast health. We know that it can be difficult to keep it all straight. But there are many simple things we can do to help keep our breasts healthy throughout life. The articles that follow address the questions and concerns women have asked us about most concerning their breasts. We hope that you can find some answers and that we can help you on your way to reaching a healthy perspective on this sensitive topic.

Our most popular resources on breast health

To access an article, just choose from the list of excerpts below. Don’t see a topic that’s important to you? Let us know.

Causes of breast pain. Because we’ve been taught that pain means something is wrong, most women jump to the conclusion that it must be cancer. However, breast cancer has few warning signs, and pain is rarely a symptom of the disease. Furthermore, there are natural steps you can take to reduce breast pain.

Mammograms — what’s best for you?. Women over 40 are usually instructed to get an annual mammogram. But recent studies show that mammograms don’t improve their odds of surviving breast cancer. Clearly a mammogram doesn’t provide the protection that most women believe. And the screening itself can be painful, even humiliating. So what’s right for you? Here’s the information you need to make an informed decision.

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