Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. One of the best ways of detecting breast cancer is by getting mammograms regularly. Women ages 40 to 44 will have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.

Women aged 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year, and women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or continue yearly screening. In addition to getting mammograms, women should be doing monthly breast screenings on themselves and getting annual checkups yearly with their gynecologist.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
There are quite a few symptoms of breast cancer that people can experience, but some people experience no symptoms. Symptoms can include the following:

- Changes in the size or shape of your breast(s)
- Pain in any part of your breast(s)
- If you are experiencing any nipple discharge that is not breast milk
- A new lump in your breast or underarm

If you are experiencing any symptoms or if you have any concerns, contact your doctor right away.
Risk Factors
What are the leading causes of getting breast cancer?

Some of the leading causes of breast cancer are:

Gender: Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer. While men can and do get breast cancer, it is much less common than women.

Age: The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

History: Having a prior history of breast cancer and breast lumps increases your risk of developing breast cancer.

Bodyweight: Women who develop obesity or become overweight after menopause may also have a higher chance.

Genetics: If a close relative has or previously had breast cancer, the risk is higher.

Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a woman’s risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.
How can you lower your risk of developing breast cancer?

Here are some things you can do that could help lower your risk of developing breast cancer:

- Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
- Don’t drink alcohol or limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- If you are taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, ask your doctor about the risks.
- Breastfeed your children, if possible.

Kind Regards,

Forward Motion Physical Therapy

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