October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
The National Breast Cancer Awareness 2022 theme is “WE RISE”. The goal is to raise the number of annual screenings and to ensure every woman in the United States is provided access to the support needed to maintain optimal breast health.
According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. This data reflects cases when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage.
Early detection is significant in decreasing mortality rates. Three Steps to Early Detection, can increase your chance of finding breast cancer before it spreads throughout the body. Early detection includes performing breast self-exams monthly, attending regular clinical breast exams, and scheduling routine mammograms.
Over time, breast cancer has proven not to distinguish between socio-economic status, race, religion, or gender. No matter who you are, or where you live, breast cancer can impact your life. Therefore, it is necessary to grasp the warning signs of breast cancer, your individual risks based on family history, and your unique physical and genetic makeup. Further, understanding what is normal for your body is imperative in the event there are any changes in your breasts so that you can act accordingly.
Taking action to make healthy lifestyle choices is within all our control and may lower the risk of breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol intake and exercise regularly—it all matters when it comes to your overall health and risk of chronic disease and/or terminal illness.
Knowing your family history can also be a life saver. Make a point to talk with your doctor about your family history to determine any potential risks of breast cancer. This enables you to create a personalized plan to monitor for signs of the disease.
It is extremely important to know your normal, find abnormalities early, and seek prompt treatment. Proactively taking these vital steps may save your life.
There is a lot of misinformation out there resulting in common breast cancer myths. Make sure you know the facts about breast cancer and help dispel these common myths about breast cancer such as:
Myth: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread.
Fact: A mammogram, or x-ray of the breast, currently remains the gold standard for the early detection.
Myth: Men do not get breast cancer; it affects women only.
Fact: Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed.
Myth: If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are likely to develop breast cancer as well.
Fact: While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.
Myth: If you are at average risk, you do not have to be screened until you turn 50.
Fact: Those with average risk for breast cancer, maintaining regular screenings, every year starting at age 40.
NBCF is dedicated to delivering comprehensive, educational information on breast health and healthy living. Online resources and guides aim to empower women and men with useful information. For more information, download Free Educational Guides – National Breast Cancer Foundation.
For more about your personal breast health, talk to your provider at the HII Family Health Center.