October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 2, 2019
Am I at risk?
Everyone is at risk for breast cancer, even men! The two most important risk factors are being female and getting older. Other factors that may increase risk include:
• Breast tissue density
• Menstrual history
• Heavy alcohol intake
• Sedentary Lifestyle
• Diet (increase in sugar and carbohydrates)
Who gets breast cancer?
About 1 in 8 US women (approx. 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer.
The average age of women diagnosed is 62.
About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancers.
This is the most common cancer diagnosed in women between ages 55-64.
Women with family history may be at higher risk; for example, women whose mother, sister or daughter have or have had breast cancer may have double the risk.
Women who have inherited genetic mutations in BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 are at higher risk.
Male breast cancer accounts for approximately 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses.
What are symptoms of breast cancer?
A lump, mass and/or (pain is usually NOT a symptom) change in the feel or position of the breast are among the most common symptoms.
Other symptoms include:
• Redness or inflammation
• Changes in nipple
• Nipple discharge
• Itchy or irritated breast
• Changes in color
• Peeling or flaky skin
How do I get screened for Breast Cancer?
Different professional societies and organizations vary on when to begin getting mammograms and how often. Talk with your provider about your risk and recommendations for screening.
It is no longer recommended that women perform self-breast exams, but that women should be familiar with both appearance and feel of their breasts. They should report any changes promptly to their provider.