Steps to Take During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Every October, it’s hard to miss the sea of pink and be reminded that October is breast cancer awareness month. The National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. is the leader of this month long campaign which strives to increase awareness of breast cancer and to encourage early detection.1
While many people are aware of breast cancer, most don’t know the proper steps to take that could save their life. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women2, which is why it’s so important to be educated on prevention and early detection.
Schedule a screening exam
When breast cancer is detected in the early stages, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.3 Yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams (CBE) are recommended for any women over 40, while a CBE every three years is recommended for women in their 20s and 30s.Some women should also consider an MRI in addition to a mammogram based on family history or genetic conditions.4
Know how to perform a self-exam
In between your doctor visits, it’s smart to be aware of any changes with your breasts. A self-exam easily checks for lumps or other changes, so it’s important to know how your breasts normally look and feel. 5 If something seems unusual, it’s always safe to talk with your doctor.
Know the symptoms7
There are many signs or symptoms that you should look out for when preforming self-exams. Check with your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
- A lump near the breast or underarm area
- A change in size or shape of the breast
- A dimple in the skin of the breast
- An inward turned nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Red or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola
Know the risk factors6
There are many risk factors for breast cancer that affect a person’s chance of getting the disease.
- Gender – being a women is the main risk for developing breast cancer, and it’s 100 times more common among women than men.
- Genetics and Family History – about 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary.
- Age – As you get older your risk increases.
- Race and Ethnicity – White women are more likely to get breast cancer, while African-American women are more likely to die from this cancer.
- Using Birth Control
- High Alcohol Intake
- Being Overweight or Obese
- Posted by holx-admin
- On October 16, 2014