October is the month of two very important awarenesses (Breast Cancer Awareness/Domestic Violence Awareness) and today, I’m going to give you some information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Some of you were diagnosed with breast cancer or know someone who has been. Others may have lost a loved one to breast cancer or may not have any relation to the subject.
Regardless, it’s important to recognize the signs, be informed, and know what position you should play in awareness and a possible cure. That could mean a few things:
1. Get involved
2. Donate (or support a local cause)
3. Find a local Race For The Cure and sign up
4. Become an advocate!
Again, you don’t have to be personally affected, but you can get involved in so many ways. Stopping by a local hospital’s cancer center and helping the patients is an idea. Helping a neighbor who has been diagnosed with breast cancer can be an enormous way to help.
Please remember to:
1. Know your risk
- Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
- Talk to your provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened
- Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk
- Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
- Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
3. Know what is normal for you See your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise into your routine
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit postmenopausal hormone use
- Breastfeed, if you can