October is Breast Cancer Awareness month – here are 4 tips on what to know and look for 

Being that October is National Breast Cancer awareness month I decided to share 4 tips we should all know in regards to Breast cancer and what to generally look for. 

As sad as it is, it’s true that we all personally know someone or heard of someone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer. This is mainly because aside from skin cancer, breast cancer in the second most common cancer. According to Breastcancer.org about 1 in 8 U.S women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2017 alone. an estimated 252,7100 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed here in the U.S. 

Good news is that thankfully studies have strongly shown that regular annual mammography screening of women with no symptoms of breast cancer has lowered the number of women who die from this disease by about 30 percent. Below are my 4 basic tips on what to know and look for .

1- Know the Symptoms 

Symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person. Here are the most common signs and symptoms. 

  • Skin changes, such as swelling, redness and other visible differences.
  • An increase in size or change in shape of breast(s).
  • Discharge from nipple(s) other then milk.
  • General pain in or around the breasts.
  • Lumps or nodes felt on or inside the breast(s).

2- Always Check yourself for lumps 

You should be performing a self check for lumps at least once a month. Though some doctors no longer expect patients to check themselves, I happen to think other wise. I believe knowing how your breast normally feel helps with identifying any changes. Keep in mind that like many cancers, breast cancer can develop very quickly and worsen with time with out any kind of treatment. 

3- Never skip on mammography screenings 

When detected early enough the 5 year survival rate is extremely good. Mosr doctors suggest yearly mammograms once you have hit 40, and others suggest 50, but if you’re considered high risk then your doctor will issue a mammogram much sooner. 

4-know your families medical history 

For breast cancer, genetics play a big role! Breast cancer is a disease that can be passed down through generations. There are certain gene mutations that can cause breast cancer, These gene mutations can be inherited from a parent. It’s extremely wise to be fully aware of your families medical history , including your dad’s side of the family as well and always share this information with your doctor. Please note that many women may develop breast cancer without a family history of breast cancer, but you can be at a much higher risk if someone in your family Had it.

Over the past 40 years, breast cancer treatments has greatly improved due to all the ongoing research and clinical trials world wide. Let’s all keep showing our supporting for all the researchers and scientists who work extremely hard to find the cure to ending not only breast cancer, but all cancers alike ! 

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