3 Vital Tips Women Should Know About Breast Cancer

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While not 100% gender specific, breast cancer predominantly affects women.

According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer in men does occur, but it is far more common in women.

So simply being born a woman increases the risk of breast cancer exponentially.

Women who have a family history of breast cancer are at an increased risk.

But statistically women of this group are outnumbered by women without a family history of breast cancer; less than 15% compared with 85% respectively.

 

Who is most at risk, and
how does age factor in?

There is a slightly higher occurrence among white women when compared to African-American women. But in the 45 and under age group, African-American women have a higher rate of occurrence and overall are more likely to die from breast cancer.

And while these two groups are statistically more at risk, this condition is also found in Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women. But the American Cancer Society points out that occurrence and death are much lower in these groups.

Regardless of ethnicity, it is important to address all women in regards to being aware of 3 simple facts that may be helpful in early diagnosis of breast cancer.

#1 Age – While it is true that the average age of women who get breast cancer begins at age 45, it can and does affect younger women. A great obstacle to early detection among young women is youth itself.

There are a wide variety of cancers that affect women of any age, but breast cancer is the most common cancer among women 15 to 39 years of age. These are years we typically feel the healthiest, strongest.

It is important to note that even if we feel fine, we should not ignore a real health threat. With regard to breast cancer, ignorance is not bliss. (image) It can prove deadly. For that reason many feel that self-exams and frank discussion about the risk of breast cancer should start at puberty.

how to do a breast self examination#2 Self-Examination- According to the American Cancer Society website, “due to lack of evidence, regular clinical breast exam and breast self-exam are not recommended.

Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a healthcare provider right away.”

This should in no way discourage you from self-examination. Being proactive is key in obtaining good medical care. Essentially we are being told “if you find a problem, go to a medical professional.”

If you are unsure how to perform an exam, you can learn how from a local clinic or ask your family doctor.

The American Cancer Society recommends as optional to women 40-45 years old the choice to have “annual breast cancer screening with mammograms.” From 45-54 years old they recommend mammograms annually, and 55 years and older every two years.

Many women would argue for earlier detection. But there are risks associated with any medical procedure; false positives results are always a possibility, as well as associated costs which cannot be ignored. Good communication with a medical professional is essential.

#3 Early Detection- About 12% of women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime according to statistics from the American Cancer Society. For 2015 the American Cancer Society estimates approximately 231,840 cases of invasive breast cancer, and 60,290 cases of non-invasive breast cancer. Upwards of 40,000 are predicted to die this year from breast cancer.

It is encouraging to note that there has been a decline in death rates, especially for women under 50 years old, since 1989. “These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness” as stated by the American Cancer Society.

It logically follows that “increased awareness” is on the part of women who take the initiative and do not wait until they are in their forties to address this health issue.

To be sure there are many obstacles to obtaining adequate medical care, affordability and access being two of the biggest. With that in mind it makes good sense to be proactive in regards to our own health.

Vital Prevention Tips,
What Are They?

  1. Age- Not an accurate indicator of when to start self-exams. Forty-five years old is much too late to start thinking about this serious health concern. The time to start thinking about self-exams is early on.
  1. Self-exams- Awareness of any breast abnormalities could be the best indicator, knowing your own body can provide the best signal that lowers your risk in early detection. Rather than waiting for age 45 to think of the possibility of breast cancer, do not neglect monthly self-exams.

Talk to a medical professional to learn how to properly conduct these exams.

  1. Early Detection – Without a self-exam to signal a possible problem, women under age 45 may miss the early detection of the cancer that could save themselves from serious forms of treatment or worse – finding out at stage 4.Mainly, it’s knowing your own body that is vital to an early detection indicator such as can be found by regular self-exams.

What’s The Top Priority Every Women Should Have Regarding Breast Cancer Detection?

Self-Examination!

Share your thoughts. :)

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