October - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.

What is Breast Cancer?

"Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant (cancer) if the cells can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer, too. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas of the body."

"Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. (Only lung cancer kills more women each year.) The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 37 (about 2.7%). Death rates from breast cancer dropped from 1989 to 2007. Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women. These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments."

- (Source: American Cancer Society)

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

"Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health. Finding breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment. But knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular mammograms and other screening tests. Screening tests can help find breast cancer in its early stages, even before any symptoms appear."

"The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass or lump or breast change checked by a health care provider experienced in diagnosing breast diseases."

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

- (Source: American Cancer Society)

What can I do to prevent 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 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 cancer." Such as:

- (Source: American Cancer Society)

To learn more about Breast Cancer click a link below:

The American Cancer Society

The National Cancer Institute

The BreastCancer.org Website

Web MD - Breast Cancer Health Center


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