October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Know the Facts

cancer awarenessBreast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, aside from skin cancer. According to HealthFinder.gov, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer at some point in her life.

The good news is that with early detection and treatment, most women can survive breast cancer. October is a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of screening and early detection of breast cancer. The more women that are aware of the risks and preventative steps they can take, the more lives can be saved. In fact, NationalBreastCancer.org reports a 98% survival rate when breast cancer is detected early.

Here are 3 steps that should be taken to detect and prevent breast cancer.

#1: Take all possible measures to lower your risk

While cancer cannot be prevented, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, including:

  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Eat healthy foods (i.e. fruits and vegetables)
  • Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight

#2: Know the signs & symptoms

In most cases, noticing one of these symptoms does not mean you have cancer, but you should still see a healthcare professional immediately. There are 3 particular things to look for:

  • Changes in how the breast or nipple feels: new tenderness or a lump, a change in texture or an increase in pore size
  • Changes in how the breast or nipple appears: a difference in size, shape or skin texture
  • Any nipple discharge

#3: Early detection is key

Performing monthly breast self-exams will help you identify any changes or abnormalities. Johns Hopkins Medicine states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

Once you are aware of the signs and symptoms to look for, taking steps to screen yourself should be simple.

  • Conduct a monthly self-exam
  • Get an annual clinical breast exam
  • Women 40 and older should get mammograms every 1-2 years

It’s important to note that breast cancer is not limited to women. 2,190 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Due to a lack of awareness, the mortality rates are higher among men. You can help by spreading the word about prevention and early detection to your loved ones. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have. Contact Us or visit Chancy Drugs to speak with a healthcare professional today.

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