Breast Cancer Awareness: It’s More Than a Month
Every October you see the pink ribbons and hear about Breast Cancer Awareness, but are you actually being aware of your risk and taking measures for early detection? Each year over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s more than wearing pink for a month, in order to prevent yourself from being one of over 40,000 women in the United States dying of breast cancer each year, you need to take action and keep up with your breast health all year long.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
There are signs and symptoms of breast cancer that everyone should be aware of, however the presence of these do not automatically mean you have breast cancer. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, always speak to a healthcare professional to be sure.
- A change in the appearance of your breast or nipple, such as dimpling on the breast, breast swelling or shrinkage (especially if only on one breast), or red, scaly or swollen skin on the nipple, areola or breast.
- Nipple discharge, especially clear or bloody.
- A change in the feel of your breast or nipple, such as breast tenderness, change in the texture of the skin or lumping.For more information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. visit http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org
Who is at a higher risk of getting breast cancer?
According to the CDC, “most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older”, however age doesn’t define those affected by breast cancer. Of the new diagnoses of breast cancer in the United States, nearly 10% occur in women under 45. Age isn’t the only factor either, there are other factors that can potentially put those at a higher risk of getting breast cancer, such as family history, taking oral contraceptives, breast density and more.
For more information on risk factors of breast cancer visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/risk_factors.htm
How do I get tested for breast cancer?
There are many ways to get tested for breast cancer, clinical breast examinations, mammograms and ultrasound examinations, as well as recommended self-breast exams once a month. Mammograms are recommended to be performed every 1-2 years in women 40 years or older, however if you are at an increased risk you may opt to have them done sooner.
See the steps below on how to perform regular monthly self-breast exams:
Men CAN get breast cancer!
It is a common misconception that only women can get breast cancer, however (although unlikely) less than 1% of those diagnosed with breast cancer are men.
At WellMedica our goal is to empower your to look and feel better, we proudly support the cause of Breast Cancer Awareness and strongly encourage everyone to stay on top of their health – both breast-related and beyond!