Four things to know about breast cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is our annual opportunity to improve our health by bolstering our awareness and learning more about this dangerous disease. According to SHARE Cancer Support, 12 percent of women will develop breast cancer. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects American women. SHARE further notes, “the most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).”
It is important for women to understand their risks when it comes to breast cancer and to talk with their doctor each year about how to take good care of their health. Consider these four things about breast cancer.
Heredity is only part of the puzzle when it comes to breast cancer risk
It is devastating to see a loved one suffer. It can also unleash worries that everyone in the family is in a higher risk group for breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation explains that these fears may be unwarranted: “While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10 percent of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.” Make sure you are seeing your doctor regularly and that he or she understands your family history and be transparent with your healthcare provider
How to exercise good self-care
The National Breast Care Foundation advises that women should do a self-breast exam on a monthly basis. They should also get a clinical breast exam and a mammogram annually. It can be frightening to discover a lump on the breast but finding one does not necessarily mean you have cancer. The National Breast Care Foundation explains: “Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is especially important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam.”
Daily habits matter
We can lower our risk of developing breast cancer by taking care of ourselves daily. Limiting the use of alcohol, smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are some positive lifestyles choices when it comes to breast health. SHARE further recommends a regular exercise regimen advising to, “exercise moderately for 3-4 hours each week. Moderate exercise is anything that gets your heart rate up to 50 to 60 percent higher than its resting rate.”
The good news
Early detection can yield positive results. The National Breast Cancer Foundation summarizes: “According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99 percent. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.”
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, consider enlisting help from the trained caregivers at Visiting Angels Knoxville. Our team of Angels can assist with transportation to doctor appointments, bathing, light housekeeping and more. If you’d like more information on how Visiting Angels can help your family, give us a call at 865-531-4833.