October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is a complex disease affecting 1 in 9 Canadian women during their lifetime.
In Canada it is estimated that 220 men and 25,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that 60 men and 5,000 women will die from the disease every year.
Breast cancer deaths have decreased by 44% since its peak in 1986, due to earlier detection through regular mammography screening, advances in screening technology, and increased awareness.
Factors such as lack of physical activity, poor diet, being overweight, drinking alcohol, previous radiation to the chest, and hormone replacement therapy can increase your risk for breast cancer.
Non-modifiable risk factors include:
- Gender. Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men.
- Age. 2 out of 3 women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55.
- Race. Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in Caucasian women than in women of other races.
- Family History. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. This risk is increased if your family member was diagnosed before age 50.
REDUCE YOUR BREAST CANCER RISK:
Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer early and has been shown to reduce breast cancer deaths by at least 25% in women who participate regularly in an organized screening program from age 40. Mammography is the gold standard of breast screening for most women.
Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. When combined with appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, and yearly in-office clinical breast exams performed by a health care provider, breast self-exams can help women recognize and report any changes to their physician immediately.
For more information on performing breast self-exams, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam
Get informed. Lead by example. Encourage your family and friends to get screened. Increase awareness in your community. Together we can create a future without breast cancer!
Submitted by Tammy Guyot, a Registered Nurse at South Shore Medical Clinic in Brooks, AB.