Monday, October 5, 2015

October - Breat Cancer Awareness Month

I consider myself a women's health care advocate, so it is very natural for me to talk about Breast Cancer Awareness this October. With one in eight women having a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their life, it is a huge women's health topic. Early detection and treatment are the key to survival, making awareness top priority!

1. Know your risk
  • Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to a health care provider about your risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened
  • Talk with a health care provider about which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40

3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes:
  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn't go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Limit menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use)
  • Breastfeed, if you can

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