Fitness Facts: Breast cancer awareness
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. This is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means it’s another chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
- If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
- If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every two years. You may choose to get them even more often.
Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.
Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families and individuals to get involved.
Most people have heard information on breast cancer. Here are a few myths can be dispelled.
Myth #1: Men do not get breast cancer
Wrong: Each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 410 will die. While this percentage is still small, men also should check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.
Myth #2: No one in my family has breast cancer, so my risks are very low
Wrong: Roughly 70 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors for the disease. But the family-history risks are these: If a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling or child) has had or has breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease approximately doubles. Having two first-degree relatives with the disease increases your risk even more.
Myth #3: Caffeine causes breast cancer
Wrong: No causal connection has been found between drinking caffeine and getting breast cancer. In fact, some research suggests that caffeine may actually lower your risk.
Prevention and early detection are the keys to positive outcomes! You can fight this terrible disease by becoming involved in organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen foundation, encouraging others to adopt a healthy lifestyle and getting the word out.