Cancer is the most feared disease in the world and the worst feared word in the English language… and rightfully so. Every day we hear stories of cancer – both of people who have lost their battle, people who are battling or people who have survived.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because it is one of the most common cancers in the United States we offer these facts, symptoms, signs, possible causes and ways that you can decrease your risk of having breast cancer.
BREAST CANCER FACTS:
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that more than 220,00 women in the United States will be
diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die
BREAST CANCER SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
- A lump in the breast or thickening that feels different than regular tissue.
- Discharge from the nipple.
- Change in size or shape of your breast.
- Changes to the skin of the breast, including dimpling.
- Redness of the skin of the breast.
While there is no clear answer to what causes breast cancer, researchers have identified things that can increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Being female.
- Increasing age.
- A personal history of breast cancer.
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Inherited genes that cause breast cancer.
- Radiation exposure.
- Beginning your period at a young age.
- Beginning menopause at an older age.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Having children later in life or not at all.
- Talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening.
- Conduct breast self-exams.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit your use of postmenopausal hormone therapy.