Beauty

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – This is what you need to know.

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Although I’ve graduated from college 4 years ago, I still feel very connected to spreading awareness about breast cancer.  That is why I wanted to create this article to make sure EVERYONE is aware of how they can be preventative against the second leading cause of death among women.  A special thank you to my friend Kristen for giving me the idea 😉

 

  1. You should perform a breast self-exam once a month.  

    • How to perform a self-exam?  This website has everything you need. 
    • Symptoms and Signs:  
      1. There is a lump near the breast or underarm area
      2. A change in the skin texture or enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast
      3. Change in the breast or nipple appearance such as:  unexplained change in size or shape, dimpling on the breast, nipple has turned slightly inward or inverted, skin of breast or nipple has changed red, scaly or swollen. 
      4. Nipple discharge that could be clear or bloody
  2. If you are over 40 you should have a mammogram every 1-2 years.

    • If you are younger than 40 and breast cancer runs in your family or you have a certain risk factor (listed below), contact your healthcare professional for advice on how frequently you should have a mammogram.
    • What is a mammogram?  It is an x-ray that examines the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.  They are important because they can show a breast lump before it can be felt.  
  3. You’ve discovered an abnormality, now what?

    • Your doctor will order additional tests that can offer a more detailed information.  
    • 8/10 lumps are noncancerous, but an ultrasound, MRI or biopsy will be able to show if it is cancerous.  Don’t be too alarmed if you find a lump but definitely contact your physician.
    • Here are some healthy habits to reduce your risk of breast cancer:  maintain a healthy weight, stay active, eat fruits and vegetables, don’t smoke and limit your alcohol intake. 

 

Genetic Factors

Avoidable Risk Factors

  • Family History – relative diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer
  •  Race – Caucasian women are more often diagnosed than women of other races
  • Early Menstruation – before age 12
  • Late Menopause – after age 55
  • having dense breast tissue
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diet – high saturated fat, no fruits and vegetables, being overweight or obese
  • Drinking alcohol – the more you consume, the greater your risk
  • Radiation to the chest
  • Combine Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

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These facts woke me up…..

  • One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that over 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 will die each year.
  • On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
  • Over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. 

 

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BE AWARE.  YOU are the ONLY ONE that can help yourself with early detection and preventative action.  

Perform self-exams, see your health care physician and get mammograms.  

To get a free breast health guide, donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and learn more please click here.

 

Stay safe and healthy.  

Xo,  Lindsay

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