National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This month, we hope to raise awareness and empower women to encourage each other to schedule regular well checks with their doctor. We should be supportive to those women who have been or are diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. That said, there are steps you can take that can potentially lower your risk.

  1. Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
    Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult correlate to a higher risk of breast cancer post-menopause.
  2. Prioritize physical activity.
    At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week is recommended by the American Cancer Society to lower risk of breast cancer.
  3. Limit your intake of alcohol.
    Alcohol increases risk of breast cancer. For women who do drink alcohol, they should not have more than one drink per day.

For women already at higher risk:

  • Genetic counseling and testing can help you better understand your risk level.
  • Close observation. This could include more frequent doctors visits and breast exams, starting breast cancer screening with annual mammograms at an earlier age, additional screenings such as breast MRI.
    *This approach doesn’t lower risk but helps with early detection and fast treatment for better success.
  • Preventative surgery is another option for women who are at very high risk for breast cancer.

 

If you have questions or concerns about breast cancer, talk to your Galen OBGYN or your PCP today. This month let’s practice healthy habits, seek further education about prevention, and celebrate the women who have already bravely battled breast cancer.

Breast cancer impacts 1 in every 8 women, and it doesn’t discriminate.

“Early detection is key. And if I hadn’t found my lump early, I don’t know what would have been. I am still here and I want to encourage women to do that on a regular basis.”
—Olivia Newton-John, Diagnosed at ages 44 and 68
“Hope is possible. Possibility is possible. To my cancer family and everyone suffering…stay courageous. Stay strong. Stay positive.”
—Shannen Doherty, Diagnosed at age 44
“Medical diagnoses can leave you feeling alone and scared. When it comes to breast cancer you’re not alone, and scary though it is, there’s a network of amazing women to help you through it.”
—Judy Blume, Diagnosed at age 74
“I can look at cancer as a disease that picks me out and ‘why me,’ or I can look at it through love and say, ‘This is a wake-up call. This is my body telling me: ‘Hey you’re out of balance here. It’s time to get in line with yourself.”

—Melissa Etheridge, Diagnosed at age 43

“I’ve had so many people say to me, ‘Gosh, you know, everything’s really gone wrong for you this year,’ and it took me going through that to realize that everything went right for me.”
—Sheryl Crow, Diagnosed at age 44
“1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” she wrote. “Today, I’m the one. The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

—Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Diagnosed at age 57