October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Mammograms help save lives. Early detection of breast cancer is key.
In 1985, October was declared National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For 30 years now, major breast cancer charities have organized a health campaign every October to increase awareness of breast cancer and to help raise funds for those affected by it.
Today there are nearly 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, remember that you are not alone.
According to the Intercultural Cancer Council, only one in 10 American Indian/Alaska Native women age 40 years and older reported never having had a mammogram.
Breast cancer affects not only women, but men as well. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 231,800 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in women, and nearly 2,350 cases in men.
This October, do your part to help educate women and men about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Monthly breast self-exams, clinical breast exams performed by a doctor, and mammograms are the three tools available to help detect breast cancer early, when it can be treated more successfully.
Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
- A breast lump that may or may not be painful.
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area. Lumps come in different shapes and sizes. Most lumps are not cancer.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- • Tenderness or unusual discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the appearance of the nipple.
- A change in the texture of the skin of the breast.
If you see any of these signs, don’t ignore them. See your doctor right away.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
- Age: The older you are, the greater your risk for breast cancer.
- Weight: Being obese or overweight.
- Having no children, or having your first child in your mid-30s or later.
- Having your first period before age 12.
- Diet and lifestyle: lack of physical activity, a diet high in saturated fat, and alcohol intake of more than two drinks per day. Drinking alcohol in any form raises your cancer risk.
- Heavy smoking: Women who start smoking before their first pregnancy are at highest risk.
- Family history: A family history of breast cancer—especially in a mother, sister or daughter—increases your risk.
- Exposure to x-rays: Women who have a history of x-rays and/or radiation treatments (chest-area radiation treatments during childhood or early adulthood) are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Don’t ignore your symptoms because you think they are not important or because you believe they are normal for your age. Talk to your doctor.
Women can reduce their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by being physically active, staying at a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol and choosing to breastfeed their babies.
Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s time you scheduled your first mammogram. Current screening guidelines vary, but getting a first mammogram at age 40 is something women should discuss with their doctors. Call Community Health Representative Deborah Robinson at (480) 362-7329 or (480) 570-5276 to schedule an appointment.
Breast Cancer Awareness Events at Salt River
SR Diabetes Prevention Program presents
PINK OUT ZUMBA PARTY
Thursday, October 12
Two Waters Courtyard
FREE for everyone!
SRPMIC 4th Annual
Help us paint Salt River Pink!
Wednesday, October 25