October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Woman's Group-Tampa Gynecologist-Breast CancerAt The Woman’s Group, we want every person to know the symptoms of breast cancer. By performing breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology recommend annual screening beginning at age 40. ACOG also recommends an annual clinical breast exam through age 74. Talk to your doctor at The Woman’s Group if you have any questions. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

What Are the Symptoms?

There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include any change in the size or the shape of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood), and a new lump in the breast or underarm. If you have any symptoms that worry you, see your doctor right away.

Can You Lower Your Risk?

The main factors that influence your risk for breast cancer include being a woman, being older (most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older), and having inherited breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). Many women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families. There are things you can do to can help lower your breast cancer risk, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and eating a balanced diet with limited alcohol use. Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.

Facts About Breast Cancer

• Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.

• About 85% occurs in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

• Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.

• Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

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If you have any concerns or questions about breast health, please don’t hesitant to talk to your provider at The Woman’s Group. 

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