October is national breast cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women, and it is also the second most deadly form of cancer in females. Although it is rare, breast cancer also affects males.
Although most breast cancer cases occur in females over age 40, there are cases of breast cancer each year in younger women. According to the Susan B. Komen Foundation, African-American females have a higher incidence of breast cancer under age 40 than the rest of the population. Also, there are more deaths from breast cancer in African-Americans.
It is very important for every female to perform monthly breast self-examination. If any breast lumps or abnormalities are detected, it is very important to follow up with a primary care provider. Males should also report any lumps in their breast area.All women should also have regular clinical breast exams with a primary care provider. In addition, the American Cancer Society recommends that women over 40 should have a yearly mammogram.
This October, let’s think pink, and remember Breast Cancer Awareness Month!