October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a yearly campaign to promote awareness, early detection and treatment of the disease. Breast cancer is one of the most common type of cancer in women, with a prediction that 1 and 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Early Detection

The good news about breast cancer is that most women can survive the disease when detected and treated early.

Mammograms

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of a breast and a highly effective tool used by doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer. Getting regular mammogram

  • Women ages 40-49 should talk to their doctor about getting a mammogram.
  • Women ages 50-74 should get a mammogram every 2 years.
  • Women with a family history or higher risk of breast cancer should talk to your doctor about how often to get mammograms.

Breast Self-Awareness

Breast Self-Awareness involves being familiar with how your breasts look and feel that can make it easier to notice symptoms such as lumps, pain or other changes to the breast that could be reason for concern. Conducting a breast self-exam can help to detect these sorts of changes that should be reported to your doctor. If you have any signs that worry you, call your doctor right away.

Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Talk to your doctor about family history
  • Breastfeed your children, if possible
  • Schedule regular mammograms and clinical breast exams

 

Sources: US Dept. of Health and Human Services. CDC. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.

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