October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As of now, there is no single answer to what causes breast cancer. Instead, there are several risk factors associated with the disease that affects women globally. Find out the signs and more about the breast cancer risk factors.
About 1 in 8 women will at some point in their life receive a breast cancer diagnosis. And every 13 minutes a woman dies from the condition. And even though death rates have gone down since 1989, there are still thousands of women suffering each year. Cases have been limited largely in part due to increased awareness, treatment improvements, and early detection methods.
In addition to being the most common cancer for women, breast cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed ones too. The failure to carry out further testing by physicians to confirm the presence of cancer is often to blame for this inaccurate appraisal. Hopefully, Breast Cancer Awareness Month can start to change that. Some of the most common early-onset symptoms women should be cautious of include:
Mammograms, which use an x-ray to analyze breast tissue, can detect breast lumps before women may feel them. It can also show tiny calcium clusters that may indicate early onset of breast cancer or other conditions. Most physicians recommend that women age 40 and older get a mammogram every 1-2 years. Younger women, under the age of 40, who have direct family members with a this particular cancer diagnosis are best to talk to their healthcare provider about the benefits of the x-ray.
If a doctor finds a mass or calcification, this doesn’t always mean it’s cancer. To verify the diagnosis, the doctor will conduct an ultrasound or MRI. In certain cases, a biopsy will happen to analyze tissue from a concerning area under a microscope. What better time than now in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Several risk factors link to women who develop breast cancer during their life. While some of these influences relate to an individual’s biological makeup, others stem from lifestyle factors.
Here’s something else know in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and after: Women who become pregnant at least once tend to have a lower rate of breast cancer. Likewise, research has shown that mothers who breastfeed also have a lower risk of the disease. Removal of the ovaries may also lower risk by reducing how much estrogen is in the body. However, this is a serious decision and only one to consider if completely necessary.
Here are other ways to change your lifestyle to help reduce breast cancer risk:
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, make time to visit your doctor. Ask them the difficult questions about your risk of cancer, as well as scheduling a screening. Doing so is even more important if you are at a high risk of this cancer. Regular tests for the disease can help to detect it earlier and keep it from spreading, if found. For your long-term health and well-being, get yearly checks and listen to your body.
I am a 13 years breast cancer survivor. I was told by my doctor that I didn’t need a mammogram at age 44. I knew better. My mother had breast cancer. So, I insisted on having mammograms each year and at age 44, my breast cancer was found. Please be firm about your health care. After diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and years of medicines, I am cancer free. Praising God for giving me the courage and strength to insist on a yearly mammogram.
Thank you for highlighting Christy, my sister is a survivor after a mastectomy and chemo, and medication for five years.. she had it when she was in her mid thirties.. I make sure I have a mammogram at regular intervals … Very important.. <3
Yes Christy, she is well and has been cancer free for over 20 yrs <3 And thank you We are all fine.. Sending much love and well wishes to you too Christy… <3
Thank you for this information Christy. Knowing that I didn’t have to wait until I was 40 was information I didn’t have before.
I met practically none of the markers present for upping the likelihood of breast cancer other than triple-negative tending to effect more younger women. I am fairly certain stress is what caused enough inflammation in my body for the mutant cells to start to grow. Self-care at all stages of life is so important!
I had a breast cancer scare a few years ago, which thankfully proved to be a false alarm. My advice is, though mammograms can be unpleasant to have done, the peace of mind or early awareness of needed treatment they can offer is definitely worth a small amount of discomfort.
Such an important post Christy. Thank you. <3
Hi Christy, I am enjoying reading your blog. I was first diagnosed with a malignant tumour last year at age 39. It was self-detected and later confirmed through the triple test of a mammogram, ultrasound and core needle biopsy which resulted in a right breast mastectomy and Tamoxifen tablets everyday for the next 10 years. I wish that there was more of an emphasis on women under 40 having mammograms, I truly believe that this is something that needs to be addressed and then educate the next generation of women with.
Hi I am a breast cancer survivor the mammogram and ultrasound saved my life. I am on a five year treatment plan, however I opted to do a bilateral mastectomy to reduce my chances of reoccurrence. Being 25 this was my mid-life crisis I guess. My worry is more young women are not being checked regularly and this is becoming a vast issue.
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.