How much do you know about breast cancer? The answer is probably “not enough,” because few people like to think about the subject. But your health, and your life or the life of a woman close to you, may depend on knowing a few simple facts.
Did you know that …
One out of every eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Breast cancer can occur without any warning signs, and more than 80 percent of breast lumps are not cancerous.
If breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the five-year survival rate is more than 90 percent.
Modern mammography can reveal small breast cancers up to two years before they can be felt.
There is no need to be afraid to learn about breast cancer. The facts are encouraging and reassuring.
If you remember only one thing about breast cancer, it should be this: Early detection is a woman’s best protection. Early detection provides the best opportunity to treat breast cancer successfully, and a diagnosis often does not mean removal of the breast.
Doctors recommend this three-step early detection program:
Schedule regular mammograms - your first screening mammogram by age 40; one every year or two to age 49; one every year or two to age 49, and one every year after 50.
Perform monthly breast self-examination - your doctor can show you the proper method.
See your health care provider for regular breast examinations, at least every three years until age 40 and then every year.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to get the facts. To find out more about breast cancer, ask your health care provider or call these toll-free numbers:
American Cancer Society 1-800-ACS-2345
National Cancer Institute 1-800-4CANCER
National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) 1-800-719-9154
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization 1-800-221-2141.
For more information, call:
326-1190 ext. 118
Breast & Cervical Health Program