October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Facts about Breast Cancer:

  • Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
  • Studies show that women with disabilities are less likely than women without disabilities to have received a mammogram during the past two years.
  • Black women have the highest breast cancer rates of all racial and ethnic groups, and are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

One in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. When breast cancer is found and treated early, the five- year survival rate is 98 percent. Here are three ways to promote early detection!

1. Know the Risk Factors. These include: 

  • Being a woman. 
  • Being older than 50 – the risk of breast cancer increases with age. 
  • Having a personal and/or family history of breast cancer. 
  • Having dense breasts 
  • Genetic mutation of the genes BRCA 1 and 2. 
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy for more than five years. 

2. Know the Symptoms of Breast Cancer. These include: 

  • Changes in skin color and/or texture such as redness, rash or orange peel appearance. 
  • Changes in size or shape of breast including swelling, dimpling or puckering. 
  • Change in the appearance of nipple including nipple that is turning inward that normally has pointed outward or is scaly or cracked. 
  • Spontaneous nipple discharge. • 
  • Lump or thickening in or near breast or in the underarm area.

3. Take Charge of Your Breast Health. 

  • Every woman needs to talk to her health-care provider about her risk factors
  • for breast cancer to determine when to begin and how often to have clinical
  • breast exams and mammograms. It is also important for women to be aware
  • of what is normal for them and to see their health-care provider if they notice
  • any breast changes. Take control of your breast health by following the
  • American Cancer Society's breast cancer screening guidelines:
  • Age 40 & Over - Mammogram and clinical breast exam yearly, monthly self breast exam
    • A clinical breast-exam is when a health-care provider looks for and feels for any changes in your breasts. 
    • A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. It can detect breast cancer two to three years before a lump can be felt.
    • Age 20s & 30s - Clinical breast exam yearly and monthly breast self exam
    • Starting in 20s - Monthly self breast exam and clinical breast exam yearly

Remember, early detection is the best prevention! Do it for yourself and do it for your family!