October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual reminder to schedule a mammogram appointment and to support, remember and honor those who currently are fighting breast cancer or have lost their battle.
Breast cancer fast facts
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
- About 1 percent of men are diagnosed with breast cancer
- Early detection significantly increases breast cancer survival rates
- Women over 40 should get a mammogram yearly
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women
- Over 3 million people are breast cancer survivors
- As many as 40% of cancerous lumps in the breast are found during a self-check. Perform a breast self-exam each month. The best time is the week after your period ends.
- In its earliest stages, breast cancer may not have symptoms and it is not always in the form of a lump. Report any of the signs below to your doctor right away:
- Swelling in or around your breast, collarbone or armpit
- Skin thickening or redness in or around your breast
- Breast warmth and itching
- Nipple changes or discharge
- Breast pain lasting more than three weeks
How to reduce your breast cancer risk
- Be active by exercising most days of the week (walking, jogging, yoga, etc.); aim for 30 minutes per day
- Maintain a healthy weight. Know your body mass index (BMI), and if you are in the obese or morbidly obese range, losing weight reduces your risk
- Don’t use tobacco. If you do, stop
- Limit how much alcohol you drink. The American Institute for Cancer recommends no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.
- Know your breasts and how they look and feel through monthly self-exams. If you notice changes in what is “normal” for you, report to your doctor right away.
Get a mammogram
- If you are over the age of 40, most organizations recommend an annual mammogram. Schedule today by calling (502) 629-1234, option 3 or visit Norton Women’s Care.
- By staying current with your preventive mammogram screenings, you can earn 50 N Good Health program activity points