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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s pretty hard to make it through the fall without hearing about Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every October the pink ribbons come out, sports teams don pink jerseys, and the American Cancer Society of the Capital Region fundraises in full force—pink tour bus and all. While there is a lot of pink hoopla, it’s important to remember the goal is to give women the facts about breast cancer and early detection methods so they can stay on top of their breast health and even prevent this type of cancer.

 

And what are those key facts?  The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men.  According to the American Cancer Society, early detection is the key to having the best outcome possible.  Here are some notions to consider:

 

Self-examination – While some types of breast cancer have no detectable signs, it is important to have any breast change checked by your health care provider, such as tenderness, change in skin, or lumps.

 

Professional screenings – Trained health professionals can detect signs that we might miss ourselves so keep up with regular clinical breast exams.

 

Mammograms can often show a breast lump or suspicious tissue before it can be felt - See your health care provider to learn more about this and when to have one.

 

Healthy living may make an important difference – According to the American Cancer Society, certain lifestyle factors are related to an increased risk for some types of breast cancer. So maintaining a healthy weight, balanced diet and exercise regime along with not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, you can lower your risk.  Learn more from the American Cancer Society.