October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women. Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.

Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include: 

  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • Change in size, shape or appearance of a breast
  • Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
  • A newly inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of thee skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.

Some main factors that influence your risk for breast cancer include:

  • Being a woman.
  • Being older (most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older).
  • Having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
  • Most women who gets breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families. 

Can I lower my risk of Breast Cancer?

  • There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk. Many risk factors are beyond your control, such as being born female and getting older.
  • But other risk factors can be changed and may lower your risk. For women who are known to be at increased risk for breast cancer, there are additional steps that might reduce the risk of developing breast. 

Facts About Breast Cancer:

  • Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality. However, only 5-10% of cancers due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father.
  • Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. 
  • Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening.

Disclaimer: This  content is provided for education and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice. Health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start, change or modify your medications, lifestyle or current treatment regimen. 

References and more info:

https://www.breastcancer.org/facts-statistics

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/can-i-lower-my-risk.html

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

Picture credit: https://nationaltoday.com/breast-cancer-awareness-month/

 

 

 

 

 

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