Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, behind skin cancer. An estimated 281,550 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women in 2021, according to the American Cancer Society
The month of October, when it seems that everything turns pink, is a good reminder to schedule a mammogram, which can help detect breast cancer at an early stage.
Yet there are many other breast cancer facts we should be aware of, not only in October, but every other month of the year. Here are few things to remember:
- Know your body and watch for changes to your breasts
Changes such as a lump or firm feeling in the breast or underarm, nipple changes or discharge and skin that is itchy, scaled, dimpled or puckered should be checked.
- Men can get breast cancer too
Men should not dismiss changes in breast tissue. A lump, changes to the nipple or a sore that does not go away should be reported to a healthcare provider.
- Drinking alcohol can increase the chance of developing estrogen receptor breast cancer
Studies have consistently found an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing alcohol intake. It is suggested that women limit their consumption of alcohol to one drink per day.
- Exercise and healthy eating can lower your risk
Eating vegetables, fruits, lean meat and fish while limiting high fat and fried foods reduces the risk of breast cancer. Studies show that exercise is also beneficial. It is never too late to begin an exercise routine but check with your healthcare provider if you have been sedentary and plan to start regular exercise.
- Remember: Breast cancer is treatable!
The survival rate of breast cancer continues to increase due to early detection and advances in live-saving technology and research. New treatments offer tremendous hope so be sure to make breast health an overall health priority.
Helpful breast cancer information from Centrus Health partners can be found here:
- Self Breast-Exam (North Kansas City Hospital)
- Understanding Breast Cancer Prevention (The University of Kansas Cancer Center)
- Early Signs of Breast Cancer (The University of Kansas Cancer Center)
- Why Women With Breast Cancer Are Living Longer (AdventHealth)