Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Happy October and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Did you know that in America, an average of 271,270 individuals are diagnosed with destructive cancer? Did you also know that breast cancer can impact both women and men? Many people may think that only women are diagnosed with breast cancer when, in reality, the diagnoses can go both ways. It is more commonly seen in women because the breast tissue is composed differently due to estrogen levels. Additionally, about 1/833 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the breast tissue of men or women. Additionally, there are multiple different kinds of breast cancer. For example, there are more invasive types, considered Type 4, and less invasive types, considered Type 1.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer Type 4, the cancer cells are more likely to spread to other body parts, requiring more serious treatment. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer Type 1, the cancer has only occurred in the breast tissue, and you are more likely to recover.
So that begs the question, how do I prevent breast cancer? Well, one way to try and prevent a serious diagnosis is to be aware of the most common warning signs of breast cancer. Some of the most common signs of breast cancer are lumps in the breast, a change of color in the breast area, or bloody/purulent discharge from the nipple. Even though breast exams are no longer recommended, it doesn’t mean they should never be done. Optional routine breast exams and screenings might be able to catch breast cancer earlier than if you didn’t check. To perform an optional at-home breast cancer check, you push down on the sides of your breast and under the armpits to feel for abnormal lumps. A good time to check for lumps is when you are showering to ensure that you notice a lump that wasn’t there the last time you showered. Remember, some lumps might not be harmful!
Another way to check for breast cancer is to get routine mammograms, starting at age 40 for women at an average risk. If you believe you are at more risk due to a family history of breast cancer, or if you find an abnormal lump, talk to your doctor!
So enjoy the beginning of fall and schedule your screening appointment for breast cancer today!
This blog was written for Healthy Young NV by Savannah, an intern at Immunize Nevada.