Breast Cancer and the Importance of Self Exam

By on 11/24/2016

While everyone has their mind on delicious turkey breasts this Thanksgiving, we have our minds firmly set on women’s breasts… mainly, saving them!

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in women worldwide… and the second most common cancer overall. Breast cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women (first is lung cancer).

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime!

Don’t Become a statistic!

Signs of Breast Cancer

  • Lump in breast
  • Bloody discharge from nipple
  • Abnormal discomfort in breast (not period related)
  • Inverted nipple
  • Redness, swelling or warmth on breast
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Changes in shape or size of breast
  • localized pain in specific spot of breast that does not go away

Preventing Breast Cancer

  • Self Exam – Once a month, you need to perform an self examination of your breasts to detect any lumps. Refer to the chart below (courtesy of lutheranhealthcare.org) to learn how to properly perform a self exam. breast self exam
  • BRCA testing – This gene test is a blood test that looks for genetic mutations in the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes – both known to cause breast cancer.
  • Mammogram – Doctors say that starting at the age of 40, women should have a mammogram done every 2 years. If you have any direct relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, they say you should start mammograms even sooner.
  • No HRT (hormone replacement therapy) – Doctors now know that HRT greatly increases your risk of breast cancer.
  • Limit alcohol intake and don’t smoke – Both of these have been proven to increase your risk.
  • Breast feed – Not only is it healthy for your baby, breast feeding actually reduces breast cancer risks.

During this season of thankfulness, let’s give thanks to all the amazing doctors, scientists and breast cancer survivors and supporters who have done so much to help reduce the devastation that breast cancer causes. Death rates due to breast cancer have been falling since 1989, but in 2016 an expected 40,500 women will still die as a result of breast cancer.

Please do your part and perform self breast exams regularly, and be sure to remind all of your female friends to do the same!

 

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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