Over the course of a lifetime, nearly 1 out of every 8 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This year alone, an estimated 252,710 women, as well as 2,470 men, will contract some form of breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as such we are taking the time to highlight the symptoms, treatment options and warning signs of this disease.
Quick Facts About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can affect both men and women. Stages range from early and curable breast cancer to metastatic breast cancer. There are a variety of treatment options. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in the United States.
Since 1989, advances in medical treatment and screening have improved survival rates dramatically. Today, the chances of dying from breast cancer has decreased to around 1 in 37 or roughly 2.7 percent (Medical News Today). There are currently an estimated 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Who’s At Risk?
While it is difficult to prevent any form of cancer completely, possible risk factors include old age, genetics, a family history of breast cancer, obesity, and alcohol consumption. By keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption, it is possible to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
Check for Symptoms
The first sign of breast cancer is often noticing a lump through self-examination, or detected in the results of an abnormal mammogram. Other possible symptoms include (but are not limited to); thickening or swelling of breast tissue, skin irritation around the nipple or breast, a change in breast size or shape, and pain. Checking yourself for signs and symptoms of breast cancer is really simple, and you can start right now.
While treatment options depend on the type of breast cancer, the stage of progression, and individual medical history, there are many available. They primarily include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and radiation therapy. While each of these options has its own individual benefits and limitations, it is important to work with your doctor to determine which treatment is best for you.
Contact your Health Care Provider
If you believe you are showing any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, contact a medical professional immediately. You can request an appointment with Newman Regional Health by calling (620) 343-6800, ext. 1167, or by clicking here.