Welcome to October! As you may or may not know (though I’m guessing you do because even the NFL is it on it) it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
Breast Cancer is one of many conditions that can impact breast health; as many as 8 out of 10 lumps can be attributed to something other than cancer, such as fibroadenoma’s and cysts. According to the Susan G. Komen website:
“Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast divide and grow without normal control. Between 50 and 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the ducts, 10 to 15 percent begin in the lobules and a few begin in other breast tissues”
Some common risk factors associated with breast cancer are: a family history, lack of exercise and improper diet, early menstruation or late menopause, or being on birth control pills for more than 10 years if you are under 35. If you have any of these risk factors it is important to remember to give yourself a monthly self-exam. The 5 year survival rate when detected early is 98%, so check yourself and make sure to see your doctor regularly for professional exams. Based on your risk factors, your doctor may recommend more or less frequent checks up, so be sure to mention any risk factors you have when discussing this with your doctor.
In addition to the National Cancer Institute there are many great organizations that are working to find a cure for breast cancer. Some of them include the Susan G. Komen foundation which sponsor’s local “race” for the cure marathons which help raise money for breast cancer research. There is also the breast cancer awareness site, which features a click fundraiser. There is a button on the front page, and each time you click it (once per day) the sites sponsors donate money to find a cure. The site also sells various pieces of memorabilia; the proceeds from those sales also go towards research.