October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, but when breast cancer is detected early (in the localized stage) the 5-year survival rate is almost 100%. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to learn the facts and take charge of your breast health.
Luckily, there are several measures you can take to reduce your risks and detect any potential problems early on! These include a healthy lifestyle, regular mammograms, genetic screening, and self exams. Not sure how to conduct a self exam? Check out The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam for a clear step by step guide.
Finally, follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer:
- Schedule annual mammograms starting at age 45. Results from many decades of research clearly show that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer found early, less likely to need aggressive treatment (like surgery to remove the entire breast [mastectomy] and chemotherapy), and more likely to be cured.
- Know how your breasts look and feel, and report any breast changes to your doctor. It’s recommended that women 20 years of age and older conduct regular, monthly, breast self-exams.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about whether you should have other tests or start testing at an earlier age.
Many of us know someone who has been affected by Breast Cancer, be it a family member, friend, colleague, or even ourselves. Whatever your connection to the disease, there’s no time like the present to band together and educate ourselves and the women we love. Now that you know the importance of early detection, we hope you’ll join us in spreading awareness and empowering the women in your life to take charge of their breast health!
To learn more about the stats, facts, risk factors, and symptoms, visit the links below.
Find more facts and statistics about breast cancer at: //seer.cancer.gov/statfacts
Learn more about the risk factors for breast cancer at: //www.cancer.org/bcriskfactors
Learn more about ways to reduce your risk and and increase your chances of early detection at: //www.cancer.org/bcprevention&earlydetection
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer at: //www.cancer.org/bcsigns&symptoms