Take steps to better yourself during National Women's Health Wee - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Take steps to better yourself during National Women's Health Week

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UNITED STATES - This week is National Women's Health Week, an event that challenges millions of women to take action to improve their overall health.

Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can damage your heart... and if you have heart disease when you're diagnosed with breast cancer, it can limit your treatment options.

Doctors also say older breast cancer patients more often die of heart disease than the cancer itself. Both diseases also have common risk factors like having a sedetary lifestyle and being obese. That's why the American Heart Association says making healthy lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease and getting breast cancer.

"Being active or exercising can actually help in the outcomes of both disease processes," said Dr. Laxmi Hehta with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. "Eating a healthy diet is imperative for both as well. Healthy weight is important."

Doctors say avoiding smoking is also a critical step to preventing both diseases.

The American Heart Association says as part of National Women's Health Week, why not take steps to improve your health? Like scheduling a doctor's visit, exercising more, eating better, or paying closer attention to your mental well-being.