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2018-10-10 / News

October Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer for women. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Although death contributed to breast cancer has declined, it is still the second highest cancer death among women.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to remind women of the screening guidelines and risk factors associated with this disease.

Mammograms can help find breast cancer early, when treatments are more likely to be successful. For women with average risk of breast cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network ® (NCCN) recommends an annual mammogram for women age 40 and older.

If you have a family history of breast cancer, however, it’s important to talk to your primary care physician if you need to be screened sooner.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

—Being a woman – although men can have breast cancer, this disease is about 100 times more common in women than in men.

—Getting older – as you age, the risk for breast cancer increases.

—Certain inherited genes – about 5 – 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary.

—Dense breast tissue, relative to fatty tissue; early menstruation before age 12; and reaching menopause after age 55 also contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Proven risk factors aside, a significant way to reduce the incidence of breast cancer is to lead a life of overall health and wellness. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet of whole foods, limiting daily alcohol intake to 6 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of liquor for women, and participating in a daily exercise routine all help.

This, coupled with selfexams and yearly mammograms, will work toward reducing the rates of breast cancer cases and breast cancer deaths.

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