October is Breast Cancer Awareness month & together we are tougher than breast cancer! Through prevention, early detection, & education, women across the world are receiving hope. Breast cancer is a global burden; it is the most common cancer in the world among women. In the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for all women, & 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime. In this blog post, we are sharing some tips from the National Breast Cancer Foundation on prevention, early detection, & treatment of breast cancer.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. The breast is exposed to a small dose of ionizing radiation that produces an image of the breast tissue.
Why Do I Need A Mammogram?
Mammograms can often show a breast lump before it can be felt. They also can show tiny clusters of calcium called microcalcifications. Lumps or specks can be caused by cancer, fatty cells, or other conditions like cysts. Further tests are needed to find out if abnormal cells are present.
Recommendations for all women:
• Women 40 & older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years.
• Women who are younger than 40 & have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. Make sure you know the facts about breast cancer.
1. Myth: Dairy causes breast cancer.
Several myths persist about the correlation between dairy intake & the increased risk of breast cancer. Over many decades, studies have shown that dairy consumption does not increase the risk of breast cancer. Read more about these studies here.
2. Myth: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.
Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam.
3. Myth: Men do not get breast cancer; it affects women only.
Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.
For more myths regarding breast cancer, head on over to the National Breast Cancer Foundation by clicking here.
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2019). Mammogram. Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/ mammogram.
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2019). Myths. Retrieved October 14, Open Enrollment for 2020 2019, from https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths/