In October, we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately one in eight women born today in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women, but it can also occur in men. The good news is that most people can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early.
Some warning signs of breast cancer may include:
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area of the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
- Limit alcohol.
- Don’t smoke.
- Control your weight.
- Be physically active.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy.
American Cancer Society Screening Guidelines:
- Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
- Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.
- All women should understand what to expect for breast cancer screening – what the test can and cannot do.
- All women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care professional immediately.
If you have any questions related to breast cancer, please call or speak to one of the parish nurses.