October is Breast Cancer awareness month. During this month, many hold information sessions and events that provide information about breast cancer and benefit various breast cancer foundations. Breast cancer affect both women and man, although it is more common in woman.
Once a year, woman should get a breast exam done by their doctor. Remember a key to detect breast cancer early are annual exam by your doctor, self exams and mammograms.Many fear the pain and discomfort of mammograms, however it only last few seconds and it is really not that bad. Become familiar with your breast, look in the mirror make sure they are symmetrical, no change in skin color or dimpling, no swelling , no redness, then examine yourself. If your are not sure how to do it then ask your doctor. If you feel or think you feel something, get it CHECKED, its better to CHECK and find out its nothing! If a member of your family was diagnosed with breast cancer, then see your doctor and discus your risk.
In addition to yearly check ups it is as important, if not more important, to preform self exam once a month. For menstruating woman it is recommended to self examine your breast about few days after your period. For post menopausal or if you do not menstruate, it is recommended to pick a date and repeat the exam once a month on the same date.
You can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by not smoking, limit alcohol intake, keep healthy diet, avoid carcinogen, exercise regularly, know your risk factors and discuss them with your doctor, breast feeding can reduce your risk, keep a healthy weight and discuss with your doctor hormones replacement medications and birth control and how they affect your risk. Discuss with your doctor getting the Brca1 and Brca2 test if needed. You can read on the risk for beast cancer on CDC’s website.