The Importance of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Get decked out in pink and learn about the importance of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
October Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here. Are you keeping your breasts healthy?
Every year, we celebrate October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We dress up in all-pink and support charities and fundraisers that help people to stay alive who’re fighting breast cancer. While you’re supporting the cause, do you really understand the importance of this month and your overall breast health? If not, no need to worry because in this guide we dig deeper into everything you need to know about protecting your breasts.
Facts, advice, and more information below!
The beginning of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in October 1985 when many organizations like The American of Family Physicians, AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation, and Cancer Care Inc. sponsored the cause. Over the years, many more associations and organizations like the National Football League joined together to help raise money for the cause.
The first step in learning about the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to understand these facts from National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc:
- 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her life.
- Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in America.
- Over 43,000 women will die of breast cancer in 2021.
- Men can get breast cancer even though it’s rare.
- Over 2,000 men will be diagnosed in 2021.
- Over 500 men will die from breast cancer in 2021.
- 2021 will have over 280,000 cases of invasive breast cancer.
- 2021 will have about 50,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in American women.
- 30% of all new cancer diagnoses are breast cancer.
- There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- 63% of breast cancer cases will be discovered before it spreads.
Breast cancer symptoms
While you may hear over and over again to check for new lumps and bumps on your breasts, there are other breast cancer symptoms to watch out for, such as:
- Breast swelling
- Nipple discharge
- Dimpling of skin
- A nipple that turns inward
- Skin color changes on the breast or nipple
- General pain in any part of the breast
- Irritated or itchy breasts
- Peeling of the nipple skin
Other uncommon symptoms may occur as well. Always reach out to your doctor if you notice any of these signs or other concerning issues.
Risks and preventive measures
Just like any other disease, some people are more at risk. But how do you know if you fall under that category? In general, anyone can be diagnosed with breast cancer, but the CDC explains that you have higher chances if:
- You have a family history of it.
- You are a woman 50 years or older.
- You are not physically active.
- You have dense breast tissue.
- You have reproductive history issues.
- You have genetic mutations.
- You had radiation treatments in the past.
- You took the drug diethylstilbestrol.
Many of these categories are broad and do not indicate that you will get breast cancer. However, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce your chances, like:
- Having an annual mammogram
- Being physically active
- Taking hormones
- Decreasing your alcohol consumption
- Paying attention to your reproductive history
Now that you have a better understanding of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s time to book an appointment with your doctor for your annual breast exam. And remember to check for new lumps at least once a month on your own!
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