BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Nearly everyone in our community has likely been touched by breast cancer in some way, whether personally or through the experience of a family member, friend, or co-worker.
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is considered cancerous if the cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer, too.
"It's important that we show our support to such a serious illness and continue to bring awareness to this important cause," said Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. "Many people are either directly or indirectly affected by this devastating disease and we are dedicated to reinforcing the message of supporting the fight against breast cancer."
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual effort to raise awareness of the disease and express the importance of detecting breast cancer early. The American Cancer Society states that only about half of women aged 40 and older report having a mammogram - a screening test to find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. Regular screening tests reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer.
Here are some ways to increase awareness of breast cancer this month:
- Know your risk
- Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history.
- Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer.
- Get screened
- Talk with a doctor about which screening tests are right for you if you are at 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.
- Know what is normal for you
See a doctor 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
- Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise into your routine
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit menopausal hormone use
- Breastfeed, if you can
For more information and ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month Click Here.
Stay strong. NEVER give up. No one fights alone!