It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month! We are speaking with experts in their fields to discuss health, wellness, and all things related to breasts- including breast asymmetry, of course!
To kick off our October series, our Founder, Talia, spoke with Dr. Melissa Mondala aka Dr. Lifestyle. Board certified in both Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Mondala provides a unique perspective. In her practice, she incorporates traditional medicine with a holistic and preventative approach to overall health.
WHAT IS LIFESTYLE MEDICINE?
People who go into lifestyle medicine first have their primary specialties. And then Lifestyle Medicine is the additional certification because most of the doctors who go into it realize that they forgot the prevention piece. The prevention piece is really built on nutrition, exercise, sleep, emotional well-being, and avoiding use of substances, such as tobacco.
I went into Lifestyle Medicine because we see in medicine many times that chronic disease is almost like a revolving door where you end up just giving patients medication and they keep getting sicker and sicker. With Lifestyle Medicine the key component is nutrition. Because most physicians aren't necessarily trained in nutritional studies or lifestyle and wellness, we really want to bring that to the forefront.
HOW CAN WE APPLY THIS SPECIFICALLY TO BREAST HEALTH?
First of all, just being aware of what our breast texture looks like, going to your doctor for our annual physicals, and the third is that breast cancer does not discriminate. Prevention is the key. We can't control everything but we can at least protect ourselves by having a healthy lifestyle, and eating healthy on a daily basis.
HOW COMMON IS BREAST ASYMMETRY AND WHEN SHOULD A WOMAN BE CONCERNED ABOUT IT?
It's extremely common. I see it with all ages- even adolescents and teenagers start noticing breast asymmetry as they're developing. Sometimes that breast asymmetry goes into adulthood. In your adult years, after having gone through different changes, such as pregnancy, breast asymmetry is still very normal. When breast asymmetry is abnormal is when you feel a mass or if there is a change in breast skin, nipple, or discharge. That's the time to see your doctor.