National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

What is breast cancer?

Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade  healthy cells in the body.  Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.

Early Detection is Key

  • A change in how the breast or nipples feel.
  • A change in breast or nipple appearance.
  • Any nipple discharge.
  • Perform monthly self-exams.
    • Follow-up with a clinical breast exam if you have any concerns.
  • Schedule yearly mammograms.

By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.  Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.

Information from the National Breast Cancer Foundation

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