October is when we acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness. This pink event that happens every year is more than just raising funds for breast cancer research. It also increases awareness of breast cancer disease. Every year in the United States, about 250,000 women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2020 about 42,170 women in the United States will die from breast cancer. Luckily, the death rate from female breast cancer has dropped 40% from 1989 to 2016. Improved treatments, increased awareness, and prevention have led to this drop.
At Orange County CyberKnife, our goal is to provide comprehensive treatments and resources. Those need to be aware of breast cancer early before it’s too late. For Breast Cancer Awareness month, we have a guide on everything you need to know about breast cancer, and how you can take steps to prevent it in the future.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Having a symptom that is listed below does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, please tell your doctor.
Symptoms can include:
- A Lump or thickened tissue that feels different from the rest of the breast.
- Skin that is red, rough, peeling, scaly, or flaky.
- Swelling of the breast.
- Clear, thick, or bloody discharge.
- Sudden change in size or shape of the breast.
- Nipple that has inverted.
- Lump or swelling under the arm.
How to Decrease Risk
While breast cancer cannot be prevented entirely, healthy lifestyle choices and mammograms can help to lower your risk of developing breast cancer, especially at the late stages. Here is how you can decrease your risk of developing breast cancer:
- Healthy lifestyle- Exercising, physical activity, and eating healthy foods can help lower the risk of developing breast cancer. Drinking alcohol can also increase risk. Also, those who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about ways on how you can develop a healthier lifestyle.
- Mammograms- Mammograms can help doctors detect cancer in the early stages. Mammograms are when x-rays are taken to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening. Since breast cancer often has no specific early symptoms, regular breast cancer screenings are all more important to preventing late-stage breast cancer. Ask your doctor about when you should start getting annual mammograms. According to the ACS, women ages, 40 to 44 should have the choice to begin annual mammograms if they choose. However, regular mammograms are recommended every year for women between ages 45-54, and then every two years beginning at age 55.
- Breast exams- In addition to talking with your doctor about healthy lifestyle choices and mammograms, it is also recommended that women perform self-exams on their breasts at least once a month. Ask your doctor for tips on how to perform self-breast exams at home. Your doctor can also perform a breast exam for you during an office visit.
Get Treatment Today at Orange County CyberKnife
At Orange County CyberKnife and Radiation Oncology Center, we strive to give comprehensive and trustworthy cancer treatment. If you’re interested in starting treatment, contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.