October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach believes in promoting awareness and education. Did you know that breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women? Fortunately, breast cancer fatalities have been decreasing over the past 20 years. Thanks to heightened awareness, more and more women are receiving early detection through breast cancer screening—and it’s saving lives.
Breast Cancer’s Reach
Breast cancer knows no boundaries and touches lives everywhere. One in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lives. Nearly everyone has a friend or family member who has been affected by this disease. By observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can help inform and educate other women.
Here are some recent statistics:
- An estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Additionally, 63,410 cases of non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed.
- It’s important not to neglect regular breast cancer screening because early detection is key. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate of women with stage 0 to stage 1 breast cancer is 100%.
- As of March 2017, there are over 3.1 million women in the United States with a history of breast cancer.
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer. However, less than 15% of women who get diagnosed have a family member diagnosed with it.
- While breast cancer is primarily found in women, men are not without some risk. A man’s risk for breast cancer is approximately 1 in 1,000.
Why is Early Detection of Breast Cancer So Important?
Detecting breast cancer early is critical because the chance for survival depends largely upon which stage the cancer is found. It’s vital for women to be proactive by monitoring any changes in their breasts and scheduling regular breast cancer screenings.
Ways to Help Detect Breast Cancer Early
Breast cancer is not preventable, but you can take some steps to help detect it early.
- Pay attention to any signs and symptoms. Take note of any abnormalities such as a lump, dimpling of the breast skin or changes in breast appearance. Have anything suspicious looked at with a breast cancer screening by your health care provider. For more signs to pay attention to, click here.
- Perform a breast self-exam. Adult women of every age should get in the habit of performing a monthly self-exam. As many as 40% of cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. Learn how to perform a breast self-exam here.
- Have a clinical breast exam. A clinical exam is performed by your doctor or nurse to check for any lumps or physical changes. This is a routine part of your annual exam.
- Get regular mammograms. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that allows a specialist to examine the breast tissue for any changes that may be suspicious. Women over 40 years of age should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women under 40 with certain risk factors should speak with their health care provider about when to have a mammogram.
Schedule an Exam
Your annual exam is an important step in being proactive about breast cancer and your overall health. North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach provides complete care for women, including clinical breast cancer screenings. Call 904-440-0810 today to schedule your exam with us.