Breast Cancer Awareness
Many of us have been affected by breast cancer either personally, or through the experience of someone close to us. In fact, one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with this disease, making it the second-leading cause of death in American women.
How Can We Fight Back?
You can fight back through education and communication. Learn the risk factors and recommended steps for early detection. Spread the word in your communities, organizations and families about the importance of screening and early detection. Create a preventive care plan that’s right for you and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
Who Is at Risk for Developing Breast Cancer?
Anyone can develop breast cancer. An estimated 2,240 men will be diagnosed this year. But there are certain factors linked to breast cancer that can put individuals at a higher risk for developing it. Here are some of the most common risk factors:
- Gender: Women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men.
- Age: The chances for developing breast cancer increase with age.
- Genetic factors: Inherited mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase risk.
- Family history: Those with close relatives who have been diagnosed with this disease are at a higher risk.
- Personal history: Cancer in one breast increases the chance of cancer developing in the other breast, or in another part of the same breast.
- Obesity: Being overweight after menopause can increase risk.
What Are the Recommended Steps for Screening and Early Detection?
- Mammogram: Women ages 40 or older should have an annual mammogram.
- Clinical Breast Exam (CBE): Women in their 20s and 30s should have a CBE as part of their annual checkups.
- Breast Self-Exam (BSE): Women of all ages should regularly check their breasts to detect any changes in the way they look or feel. If you identify any changes, follow up with your doctor immediately.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): In addition to a mammogram, women at high risk for developing breast cancer should schedule an annual MRI.
Remember that without action, pink ribbons are only an accessory. Take the steps that can lead to early detection of breast cancer and encourage everyone you know to do the same.