Breast Cancer Awareness Month
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is currently the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death, with about 1 in 8 receiving a diagnosis within her lifetime. Every year, an estimated 252,710 women will be diagnosed and over 40,500 will die. While most common in women, roughly 2,470 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 460 will die each year. Thankfully, with the help of research and improved diagnostics, there are currently over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors alive in the United States. This October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we strive to increase awareness of the disease to encourage women and men to be vigilant about their health and promote access to the diagnostic tools and care required for all.
Breast cancer is not preventable, but early detection is key as it will help prevent the spread to other areas of the body, allowing it to be more easily treated and eradicated. There are various signs and symptoms to look for – such as a change to the feel or appearance of the breast or nipple, or clear or bloody discharge from the nipple – that don’t necessarily guarantee a cancer diagnosis, but should be brought to your doctor right away for evaluation. Along with looking for specific symptoms, it is recommended that women perform a monthly breast self-exam. It is an easy way to check for developing masses that could indicate cancer. Mammograms can detect tumors before they can even be felt, so receiving the appropriate guideline-recommended mammograms based on doctor recommendation is essential in staying ahead.
Keeping yourself healthy is important, but you can help keep others safe, as well. There are several ways to help celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
- Donate: Donations help provide mammograms to women who are otherwise unable to afford the necessary screenings.
- Fundraise: Fundraising not only helps to provide women with essential care, but also aims to educate others about breast health and provides free resources and screenings.
- Volunteer: Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but volunteers help provide encouragement through the journey.
- Encourage Friends & Loved Ones: Simply by spreading information and resources to friends and family through social media or in-person interaction, you help to encourage others to take control of their health and may help in saving a life.
Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to mean the end. Being educated and informed about the disease and taking action at the first sign will lead to better treatment outcomes and long term remission. If you require a professional exam, or believe you may be experiencing breast cancer symptoms, visit us today. Together, we can help more women win the fight and continue to work towards a cure.