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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast Cancer is a disease that affects many women (and some men as well) in the United Sates and throughout the world.

Breast Cancer Facts

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

It’s estimated that over 280,000 people will be diagnosed this year with invasive breast cancer in the US, and close to 50,000 new cases will be non-invasive.

Because it affects so many people, breast cancer education and awareness is so important.  In fact, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, aside from skin cancer.

It’s important to know what to look for.  Whether you have a family history or not, being educated about breast cancer could save your life.

Early detection is key. Breast cancer that’s diagnosed at a localized stage (no sign of cancer outside of the breast) has a 5-year survival rate of 99%.

While there’s no way to really tell if you will develop breast cancer, it’s important to know if you have certain risk factors.

Risk Factors

  • A history of breast cancer in your family
  • Gender- breast cancer occurs 100 times more often in women.
  • Age- most invasive breast cancers are diagnosed after 55 years of age.
  • Race- Caucasian women are diagnosed more often
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Obesity
  • Genetic mutations
  • High intake of red meat

Cancer grows when a cell’s DNA is damaged– but there’s no way of knowing when this occurs or how it becomes damaged.

Be proactive about your health.

If you have a family history, talk to your doctor about when you should start screening for the disease.  There are also self-exams you can do every month to help you detect anything unusual.

Warning signs for breast cancer vary from person to person.  However, it’s important to be aware of any changes in your body and contacting your doctor if you notice any changes.  It’s better to be overly cautious.

Join in the fight against breast cancer

We are proud to support University Health Care System’s 21st Annual Miracle Mile.  This raises funds for University Hospital’s breast health services and their mobile mammography unit.  They provide life-saving screenings for women right here in the Augusta area, regardless of their ability to pay.

Learn more about the event HERE.

To learn more about University’s Breast Health Center, visit their website.