October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 The Month of October is

National Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States.   If Breast Cancer is detected in the earliest stages, there can be a 95% survival rate.   About 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. 

Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, but it can be successfully treated. Screening tests can find cancer early, when chances for survival are highest.

First thing is to know your risk.   Discuss with both sides of your family to learn about your family health history and talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer. 

Secondly, is to get screened.   Discuss with your doctor about which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk. Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk. Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40. Sign up for your screening reminder online. 

Third, get to know what is normal for you with your breasts. See your doctor if you notice any of these breast changes:

Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area. Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
Change in the size or shape of the breast. Dimpling or puckering of the skin, Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast. Nipple discharge that starts suddenly. New pain in one spot that doesn't go away. 

Lastly, Make healthy lifestyle choices. Maintain a healthy weight, Add exercise into your routine, Limit alcohol intake,  limit menopausal hormone use and breastfeed, if you can.

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