Empowering Pink: Unveiling the Strength in Breast Cancer Awareness
Oct 23, 2023
Think pink this October because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast cancer makes up for 12.5% of all new cancer cases in the world, making it one of the most common cancers across the globe. Since 2016, deaths related to breast cancer have reduced by 40% and this progress is attributed to the increase of early detection.
Signs and symptoms:
What are some signs and symptoms of breast cancer? According to the CDC, some common signs and symptoms you could look for are:
- Lump in the breast or underarm
- Swelling or thickening of the breast
- Irritation of breast tissue
- Redness of the skin
- Pain in any area of the breast
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- Nipple discharge
There are a multitude of risk factors that contribute to some people developing breast cancer:
- Family health history
- Personal health history
- Early menstruation or late menstruation
- Lack of physical activity
- Poor diet
- Alcohol consumption
- More risk factors here
Early Detection Methods:
Early detection is an important key when it comes to breast cancer. It’s been found that if breast cancer is detected early enough, then the survival rate is much higher. Early detection can include doing frequent breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, or mammograms.
- Mammogram: A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This allows a physician to examine the breast tissue and is the best method for detecting breast cancer. Women 40 and older should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. Women younger than 40 who are at higher risk for breast cancer should contact their physician and ask if mammograms are advisable and how often they should have them done.
- Clinical breast exams: Completed by a physician or nurse using their hands to feel for lumps or any change.
- Breast self-exam: When a woman checks her own breasts for lumps or any other changes of their breasts. (Click here to learn how)
Reduce the risk:
What can you do to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer? Adopting healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle is an important factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer. That can include:
- Mainting a healthy weight
- Eating fruits and vegetables
- Staying active
- No smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Scheduling regular screenings
Breast Cancer Myths:
Breast cancer only develops in middle-aged to older women - FALSE: While breast cancer cases are mostly seen in middle-aged or older women, anyone of any age can have breast cancer
Carrying a phone in your bra causes breast cancer - FALSE: Multiple studies have shown that phone signals have no link to between phone use/placement and cancer. However, it is recommended that phones be kept in a bag, pocket or purse instead of a bra due to potential skin burns.
Breast pain is a clearcut sign of breast cancer - FALSE: Breast pain is not a common sign of breast cancer and only 1% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer after feeling pain.