October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Are you thinking pink?
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, but that doesn’t mean women can’t take charge of their health.
Breast exams are extremely useful in detecting cancer early. The American Cancer Society recommends clinical breast exams every three years for women between 20-40, and annually for women 40 and older. In between clinical exams and mammograms, women should perform self-exams to they know what to detect as early as possible.
Mammography is the best available method to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage, which is approximately one to three years before a woman can feel a lump. The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age, so as long as a woman is in good health, she should continue getting routine mammograms. Young women at high risk for breast cancer should discuss with their doctors if earlier screenings are necessary.
In recent years, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of detecting breast cancer early. More and more people are surviving this disease thanks to the awareness that is being raised through the month-long campaign.