As you likely well know, October is NBCAM (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Breast Cancer prevention starts with you. Learn how to do monthly self exams, get mammograms annually, and be sure to talk to your doctor about any further concerns you may have about family history of the disease or any abnormalities you have noticed. Breast cancer, when detected early, is not a lost cause. Many women who are diagnosed in early stages live long full lives still.
Other facts about breast cancer you should know are, breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women. It is more typical to find breast cancer in women over the age of 65.
The following women are more susceptible to breast cancer:
- Heavy drinkers or smokers
- Women who had a child after the age 35
- Women who got their menstrual period after 12 years old
- Women who do not exercise regularly
- Women with a family history of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer is the most common terminal cancer among hispanic or latino women. Breast Cancer is predicted to kill 40,000 people this year, and 120,000 people will be diagnosed. Men can get breast cancer also, and also die from it. Breast Cancer is found in all ethnic groups.
Breast cancer prevention starts with your annual mammograms, but when to start? Women with breast cancer in their family should consult with a doctor about annual mammograms starting around the age of 30. For all other women, mammograms should be done annually around age 40. No matter what your age, you should be giving yourself a monthly self breast exam, checking for abnormalities.
Self Breast Exam for breast cancer prevention
When giving yourself an exam there are three different techniques, one to be done in the shower, in front of a mirror, and while laying down.
When in the shower you should put your right arm up, while using your left hand begin feeling your right breast. Feel your breast using the pads of your fingers, moving them in a circular motion, all around the breast, then switch sides. In every technique you are feeling for abnormalities such as lumps or strange masses. Also, make sure to squeeze the nipple to check for secretion of discharge.
When standing in front of a mirror raise both arms, then put them back down. While putting your arms to the side flex your chest. You are again checking for lumps, but also for dimples, or abnormal bulging.
When laying down, place a pillow under your right shoulder, and your right arm behind head. Then, while using the pads of your left hand to make circular motions, making your way around entire breast and armpit area. Again checking for lumps, bulging, and dimples. Repeat on left breast.
While there is no cure for Breast Cancer, catching it at its earliest was the key in all success stories. 90% of survivor women found their breast cancer by performing exams at home. Be vigilant with your breast health. After all breast cancer prevention starts with you. If you want to be a part of this ever growing community of breast cancer supporters, look into donating, and walking for a cure.