October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness is an annual campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to raise awareness about the disease and also to raise money for research for a cure as well as how to prevent the disease and better treat it.
Q: What is the most important thing I can do to prevent breast cancer?
A: According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer is early detection. That’s why it’s so important to get a mammogram. Mammograms have been shown to reduce the risks associated with breast cancer, including breast cancer death. Having regular mammograms is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your own breast-cancer-related risks, according to the ACS. At 45 years old, all women should begin getting mammograms every year (prior to that, starting at 40, women should have the choice to get mammograms). Women 55 and older are advised to get mammograms once every two years (but if you prefer going annually, that’s fine too).
Q: My grandmother had breast cancer. Does that make me more susceptible to it?
A: Yes, but it doesn’t mean you will definitely get it. When breast cancer runs in the family, women as young as 30 should start getting both a breast MRI and a mammogram.
Q: I’m 67. Do I really need to still get a mammogram?
A: The American Cancer Society suggests that as long as you are healthy with a life expectancy of at least 10 years, you should still get a mammogram every two years.
Q: Do breast self-exams really help?
A: Yes. It’s important to do self-exams in between mammograms. If you’re not sure about how to do it, ask your gynecologist – and don’t be bashful. Remember, it could be the difference between life and death. Because generally speaking, breast cancer can be treated more successfully the earlier it’s detected.
This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. For more information about VNA services, call 321-752-7550 or visit www.vnatc.com.