Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Blog, Featured News | Comments Off on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States.


Top risk factors include getting older, race and family history of breast cancer, which are things you cannot change. In general, living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing cancer and increase your chances of surviving cancer.


One of the best ways to screen yourself and check for breast cancer is by getting a mammogram, or X-ray picture of your breasts. This is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and before it’s big enough to feel.


If you are between the ages of 45 and 74, you should have a mammogram every two years. However, if you think you may have a higher risk of breast cancer, you should consult your doctor as you may be able to receive mammograms at younger ages or at a more frequent rate.


If you can’t afford mammograms and are between the ages of 40 to 64, you may qualify for free or low-cost mammograms through the CDC. To learn more about this program, call 1-800-CDC-INFO.


What May Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer?


The primary factor that influences breast cancer risk is being a woman and getting older. Other risk factors include:


  • Changes in breast cancer-related genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2)


  • Having your first menstrual cycle before age 12


  • Never giving birth, or being older when your first child is born


  • Starting menopause after age 55


  • Taking hormones to replace missing estrogen and progesterone in menopause for more than five years


  • Taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills)


  • A personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts, or some other breast problems


  • A family history of breast cancer (parent, sibling, or child)


  • Getting radiation therapy to the breast or chest


  • Being overweight, especially after menopause


What Can You Do To Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer?


  • Maintain a healthy weight


  • Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week)


  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day


  • Avoid exposure to chemicals that cause cancer (carcinogens)


  • Try to reduce your exposure to radiation during medical tests like mammograms, X-Rays, CT scans and PET scans


  • If you are taking or have been told to take hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you


  • Breastfeed your babies if possible


If you are concerned about your personal risk of developing breast cancer, call or visit your doctor.

For more information on risk factors, prevention tips, and breast cancer screening, visit


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