Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

Whether it’s a mother, grandmother, sister or friend – many of us know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer.  Longtime Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares her advice to reduce your risk for developing breast cancer.

How common is breast cancer?

Nurse Rose: One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. But the good news is that knowing your risk and getting the right screenings can help you protect your breast health.

What are some factors that put women at increased risk?

Nurse Rose: Common risk-factors for breast cancer that you’ll want to be aware of include:

  • Being older than age 55,
  • Lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol, being overweight or lack of exercise,
  • Genetics, and
  • Personal or family history of cancer.

When should women begin regular screening for breast cancer?

Nurse Rose: By age 40, women should begin receiving annual mammograms, but it’s never too early to talk with your OBGYN or primary care physician about your risk of developing breast cancer.

Do you have any advice to help women prevent breast cancer?

Nurse Rose: Sometimes there are factors that increase your risk that are outside of your control. Follow these recommendations to stay on top of your breast health.

  • Know your risk factors and talk to your doctor about them.
  • Conduct monthly self-breast exams starting at age 20
  • Get annual mammograms beginning at age 40

Women with a family history of cancer or a personal history of other health conditions should consult their OBGYN or primary care doctor about their risk factors and the appropriate screenings.


Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Learn your risk for Breast Cancer