This October, our focus is on raising awareness of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with more than 300,000 predicted new cases in the US only. Early detection is the best prevention and can save thousands of lives!
We take this month to talk about breast cancer and highlight the importance of regular check-ups!
“In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”
– International Breast Cancer Foundation
So, what does breast cancer awareness really mean?
Breast cancer awareness is an effort to reduce the stigma and raise awareness surrounding breast cancer. The aim is to provide women with knowledge and tools that could lead to earlier detection and higher long-term survival rates. Along with that, there is hope that the donations received will help further research and help produce a permanent, reliable cure.
“In reality, about 1 in 8 women in the United States — 12%, or about 12 out of every 100 — can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime.”- Breast Cancer org.
These statistics are not meant to scare you but serve as a reminder that breast cancer is a real threat affecting many women (and men!) around the world. That is why doing a regular self-exam is so important. It takes just a few minutes and can make a huge difference in the lives of you and your loved ones. Early detection of breast cancer raises the chances of survival for up to 99%.
“64% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage (there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast), for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%.”
-International Breast Cancer Foundation
If you haven’t been doing it lately (or at all), why not start now?
This October, take the time to take care of yourself and do this self-exam method. There’s no wrong time to start— it’s recommended to start at the age of 18 and do it once a month.
Share it with your mother, sister, best friend, or any other woman in your life! Let’s do our part in spreading awareness and enhancing survival rates through a timely intervention!
How should I perform a breast exam?
Make sure to perform your breast exam around the same time each month, during ovulation. This happens around 12-14 days before your next period.
Step 1. Begin by standing in front of your mirror, shoulders straight and hands on your hips.
Step 2. Raise your arms above your head and look for the same symptoms.
Step 3. Lie down on your back.
Did you find something?
Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign (not cancerous). There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.
That’s why it’s recommended you complete a self-exam as part of your monthly routine.
Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you notice a lump or other breast changes that are new and worrisome.
Remember, breast self-exams should never replace regular mammograms or physical exams performed by your doctor.