According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated every October, it is a time when we work to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer and show our support for those affected by it.
What is Breast Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells start to grow out of control. Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in breast tissue. It can begin in one or both breasts. Though the majority of breast cancers are found in women, men can get breast cancer too. According to the CDC, about 1 out of 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. is found in a man. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
What are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
- Being a women
- Being older. Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
- Genetics – having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
What can I Do
Know Your Normal
It’s important to be familiar with what’s “normal” for you. Awareness of how your breasts usually look and feel can help you notice possible symptoms such as any change in the size or shape of your breast, a lump in the breast or under the arm, pain in the area of the breast, or nipple discharge other than breast milk. Performing periodic breast self-exams can help to detect these changes to your normal. You should report any changes that you notice to your healthcare provider or family doctor.
Understand Your Risk
Talk to your family doctor about your family’s medical history and see how that impacts your risk of breast cancer. Your doctor can create a personalized plan to monitor for signs of the disease.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Being proactive about your health may help to lower your risk of breast cancer. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, and regular exercise are healthy lifestyle choices that impact your overall health and well-being.
The benefit of screening is finding cancer early when it is easier to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer screening is recommended beginning at age 45, with the option to begin at age 40.
If you have concerns about your risk of breast cancer and would like to speak with one of our caring medical professionals, contact River Bend Medical Associates. We care about women’s health issues, and as part of your medical team, we are here to provide you with the best care in all aspects of your healthcare needs. Our progressive, sensitive, and culturally diverse team is committed to delivering compassionate family health care and promoting the well-being of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve. For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.