October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I think it is a cause worth blogging about because breast cancer affects everyone either directly or indirectly. A would make a bet that there is not one person out there that has not been affected by breast cancer by having been diagnosed themselves or having a family member or friend diagnosed. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women right behind lung cancer. This year alone it is estimated that 230,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease and nearly 40,000 will die from it. (source)
These are some scary statistics and that is why it is so important to spread the awareness not only this month but every month. Early detection is key to survival and beating this deadly disease. Here are the American Cancer Society’s recommendations for early detection of breast cancer:
- Yearly mammograms starting at age 40.
- Clinical breast exam every 3 years for women in their 20’s and 30’s then yearly 40 and over.
- Women should know how their breasts feel and look and they should report any changes to their doctor. BSE (breast self exam) is a recommended option for women starting in their 20’s.
- The American Cancer society also recommends that some women based on their family history, genetic tendency’s or other factors also be screened with an MRI in addition to a mammogram. Talk with your doctor to see if you fall into this category (less than 2% of women do).