Alright ladies, it’s that time of year again! Did you know that breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women? Are you doing your monthly self breast exams? Do you know what to look and feel for during your exam? Do you know when you should start your mammograms? Talk with your healthcare professional about your risks and when to start your mammograms. Doing your self breast exams and mammograms are important because early detection of breast cancer leads to earlier treatment and improved survival rates.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer some time in their life. Some risk factors include being a woman, age, race and ethnicity, dense breast tissue, certain breast conditions and having a family history of breast cancer. Lifestyle factors that increase risk of breast cancer include drinking alcohol, being overweight, lack of physical activity, using oral contraceptives or hormone replacement during menopause.
It is also important to discuss family history with your healthcare provider. 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to have a hereditary trait, meaning a gene mutation that can be passed down generation to generation. Some women may meet criteria for specific testing for hereditary cancers.
Knowing your breasts is important! If you have questions please discuss with your healthcare provider.
For more information visit the American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors