What You Need To Know About Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer ribbon It’s quite typical for most of us to think about the month of October as a time for pumpkin picking, falling leaves and cooler temps. But October is marked for something that’s scarier than Halloween itself and that’s cancer. October signifies Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while most people may be aware of the disease, they may not know some of the symptoms, detection methods or preventative steps they can take. With that said, here are some of the important things you need to know about breast cancer.

Important Points

Second to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 will develop invasive breast cancer during their life and they estimate that roughly 231,840 new invasive cases will be diagnosed this year as well as 60,290 cases of non-invasive forms. It’s quite a staggering amount and it is unfortunately the second leading cancer cause of death in women, while lung cancer remains at the forefront. The chance of dying from breast cancer has significantly been on the decline since the very late 1980s and has a death rate of about 3%.

Health Implications

Breast cancer can contribute to a number of difference health implications and conditions like female incontinence because it can cause hormonal changes that’ll dry out the urethra. Other symptoms and signs of breast cancer can include a lump in the breast, pain or tenderness in the breast, a change in the nipple like itching or burning and a scaly rash. Some unusual discharge from the nipple may also occur and it’s extremely important to see a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

Preventative Measures

During the month of October, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment for cancer screening. This usually is in the form of a mammogram, which is an x-ray exam that looks at the breast for any abnormalities. Research suggests that women should start getting mammograms performed beginning at the age of 50 and continue to have it regularly done every two years. However, some women who have a family history of breast cancer or are at a higher risk of developing it, should start the cancer screen as early as 40 years old. And of course, self-exams should be performed on a daily basis and if you notice anything abnormal, immediately consult with your doctor because early detection greatly increases survival rates.

As the month of October progresses and you enjoy all of its seasonal activities, remember that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and encourage the women in your lives to get their examinations and be mindful of any health changes.

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