October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. A little bit of awareness can go a long way to prevent breast cancer. Here are a few tips for staying aware and thinking pink.
The first step for prevention is to get a screening. Women should be able to start screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider around the age of 40 about when you should begin screening. Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45. For women over 50, a mammogram is recommended every other year, though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so. Women at high risk – because of family history, a breast condition, or another reason – need to begin screening earlier and/or more often. Be sure to consult with a medical provider.
A screening can give a complete overview of your breasts, and your provider can talk through some solutions with you to prevent/protect your chances of being diagnosed. Almost 90% of breast tumors can be detected by personal evaluation. Check your breasts every month for any possible lumps or skin changes, and if you notice changes, it’s a good idea to be evaluated by a health care provider.
With stress comes plenty of opportunity for your body to react negatively. Hormones and other stressors can drastically increase your risk of cancer, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that allows for plenty of decompression time. This may feel hard to do in today’s busy world, but it’s a long term change to your life that results in a huge benefit of more than just breast cancer prevention.
For all the preventative measures you can take for breast cancer, the best one is continuously educating yourself on how to minimize the risks. If you are unsure about the risks, symptoms, or need a health provider to assist you through the mammogram process, Family Choice Urgent Care can talk with you and make screening recommendations. For all of those fighting, and the survivors who share their stories, we applaud your strength and perseverance.