October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Dating back more than  twenty five years, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,  (NBCAM), has been at the forefront for promoting breast cancer awareness.

According to the official Breast Cancer Awareness website,”the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.”

Although October is the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness to everyone about Breast Cancer throughout the year.

There were more than 232,340 new cases of breast cancer in one year, and 39,620 of those women were expected to die because of it.  The risk of breast cancer rates are the highest in non-Hispanic women, followed by African American women.  The lowest risk of breast cancer is in Asian/Pacific Islander women.  White women get breast cancer at a higher rate than African-American women, but African-American women are more likely to get breast cancer before they are 40, and are more likely to die from it at any age. Incidence and death rates for breast cancer are lower among women of other racial and ethnic groups.

Here is a list of preventions and early detections of breast cancer provided by www.cancer.org.

  • Because obesity and excess weight increase the risk of developing breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that women maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. Losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
  • Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10%-20% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who get no exercise. Doing even a little physical activity beyond your regular daily routine can have many health benefits.
  • Many studies have confirmed that drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7% to 12% for each serving per day. If you do drink alcohol, the American Cancer Society recommends women limit themselves to no more than 1 drink per day.
  • A recent study by American Cancer Society researchers found that current smokers had a 12% higher risk of breast cancer than women who never smoked. Research also suggests that risk may be greater for women who begin smoking before they give birth to their first child. Quitting has numerous health benefits.
  • To find breast cancer early, when treatments are more likely to be successful, the American Cancer Society recommends women 40 and older have a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year, and younger women have clinical breast exams periodically as well (preferably at least every 3 years).