October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! According to Breastcancer.org, an estimated 170,000 people in the United States are living with metastatic breast cancer.
According to the CDC, There are a number of risk factors that may affect your changes of developing breast cancer, including being a woman, being older (50 years old or older), and having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Did you know? Under the ACA, most private health insurers must provide coverage of women’s preventive health care, including mammograms.
Early detection is key and regular breast self-exams noting any changes in your breasts (such as a new lumps or skin changes), annual exams by your doctor, and yearly mammograms can help find cancer early when it is easier to treat. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are also a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help decrease your risk of breast cancer, including:
- Limiting alcohol
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Physical activity
- Breast feeding
- And limiting postmenopausal hormone therapy
It’s important to note that men can also get breast cancer, though it is about 100 times less common among white men than among white women.
This month, take some time to raise awareness, encourage your loved ones to do self exams and get regular mammograms, and donate to research on breast cancer.