Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Think pink! October is National Breast cancer awareness month, and although it is nearing the end of the month that doesn’t mean you should forget about breast cancer.

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Each year nearly 250,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and another 63,000 women will be diagnosed with CIS (carcinoma in situ), which is a non-invasive early form of breast cancer. Unfortunately nearly 40,000 women yearly succumb to the ravages of breast cancer.

Detection is the key

On the brighter side, 2.9 million breast cancer survivors are a testament to early detection being the key to survival. All women are at risk regardless of family history, and as you get older the risk becomes greater. Regular mammograms and clinical breast exams are the key to early detection.

Some types of cancers cannot be detected by the mammogram and so a clinical breast exam by your doctor is necessary, just as some forms of cancer cannot be detected by the clinical breast exam and so the mammogram is necessary. Having both of these procedures performed regularly gives the greatest chance of early detection.

How often should you get a breast exam or mammogram? Well, women over forty years of age should have the procedure performed every 1-2 years, more often if they have a history of breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer. Women under forty years of age with history of breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer should also have the examination every 1-2 years; women under forty with no history or family history of breast cancer should consult their physician to determine when to have an examination and the frequency of examination.

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What to look for

While self examination is not recommended as the sole means of examination, it is advisable to perform regular self exams to become familiar with the way your breasts look and feel, this way if you notice anything out of the ordinary you can bring it to the attention of your physician. Some things to raise concern are;

Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

The breast swells, is warm, is red, or darkens

The breast changes in size of shape

The skin dimples or puckers

The nipple becomes itchy, scaly with sores or rash

The breast has a pulling in of the nipple or other parts

Sudden onset of nipple discharge

Focused pain in one part that doesn”t recede

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Where to get a mammogram

Your physician can give you a clinical breast exam as well as arrange for a mammogram, but for those with no regular physician this may pose more difficult. Some places offer discounted or even free mammograms, but there are so many it is impossible to list them all here. You will need to do a little research to find a location in your area, a quick search with a popular search engine yielded several results. Merely enter “free mammogram near (your city)” and you will see results that may assist you. Good luck and remember early detection is the key to survival.

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HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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