October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. During this observance, special attention is drawn to the impact breast cancer has on patients and families.Advocates use this month to educate the public about breast cancer and early detection, and encourage all to receive breast cancer screenings.
Breast cancer is caused by a malignant tumor in the breast. These tumors develop when breast cells grow abnormally and out of control. In 2015, it is expected that doctors will diagnose approximately 300,000 new cases of breast cancer, primarily in women, as the disease rarely affects men.
There are certain factors that increase or decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. Some of the factors that may increase risk include:
Factors that may help to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer include:
Early detection for breast cancer is crucial. As with many other conditions, the sooner the disease is detected, the higher the chances are for successful treatment.
Breast exams are a vital part of early detection. Women should administer monthly self-exams, as well ensure that they are receiving routine clinical breast exams, which include mammograms. The guidelines for clinical breast examinations are as follows:
Symptoms of breast cancer may include:
Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works