Happy October, everyone. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have decided to focus this month’s blog on the importance of breast cancer awareness. All women have an inherent risk of developing breast cancer, however, it’s important to realize that as women age, their risk only increases. With this in mind, our healthcare providers are happy to offer some suggestions for how patients can work to decrease their breast cancer risk.
Let’s start with some basic statistics. Did you know that the American Cancer Society estimates that over 252,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. this year alone? The aging process is a woman’s biggest risk factor for breast cancer. About 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancers develop in women younger than 45, whereas roughly 2 out of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older. This is due to our body’s diminished ability to repair genetic damage as we age and more opportunities for genetic mutations to occur as time goes on. Additionally, about 2,470 men are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.
While this may seem scary, there are things women can do to help keep themselves in good health and prevent a breast cancer diagnosis. They include:
- Reaching and maintaining a stable, healthy body weight
- Getting regular physical exercise (150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of more strenuous activity each week)
- Avoiding smoking entirely and limiting alcohol consumption to a maximum of one alcoholic beverage per day (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor)
- Undergoing regular annual breast exams, as well as breast self-exams, to catch a potential breast cancer before it is able to grow and spread
If you still have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the healthcare providers at Abraham Family Medicine. Adhering to these suggestions can certainly help maintain a clean bill of health, but regular breast cancer screenings are still a necessary part of any woman’s general wellness routine. Catching breast cancer in its early stages is a vital step towards effectively treating if it should occur. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Abraham Family Medicine today. Our office is located in Snellville, not far from Grayson.