Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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READY, SET, GO PINK!

On Friday, Oct. 20, we will Wear It Pink to raise awareness for breast cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, affecting 1 in 8 women at some point in their life. However, numerous ladies can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Therefore, we encourage all women to get regular mammograms and annual checkups.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Experts have identified several risk factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer. These include:

  • Being female
  • Increasing age
  • Inherited gene mutations, such as BRCA genes
  • Family history of breast cancer, especially women who have a mother, sister or daughter with breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Never having children
  • Dense breast tissue, or more glandular and fibrous tissue, which can be attributed to age, menopausal status, pregnancy and genetics
  • Benign breast conditions, such as ductal hyperplasia, fibroadenoma, sclerosing adenosis, papillomatosis, radial scar, atypical ductal hyperplasia and atypical lobular hyperplasia
  • Longer menstrual duration, due to starting menstruation early and/or entering menopause later, which increases exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone
  • Previous chest radiation to treat another cancer
  • Use of oral contraceptives within the past 10 years
  • Use of hormone therapy after menopause
  • Lifestyle choices, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, being overweight or obese and eating an unhealthy diet

Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Mammograms have increased the number of breast cancers found early, before they cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • A new lump or mass in the breast
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Nipple discharge
  • Redness, swelling, peeling, flaking or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Nipple retraction
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone
  • It’s important to discuss any changes in your breasts with your doctor

 

Sources: baptisthealth.net and wearitpink.org.