Breast cancer awareness month

National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that about 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, breast cancer affects one in eight women. In most cases, early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a full recovery.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; the nationwide campaign brings awareness and illustrates the value of early detection of the disease through testing.  Additionally, the campaign will raise funds for research and other activities related to treatment, testing, and education.

How can you participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

There are many ways you can contribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. National Breast Cancer Foundation will accept direct monetary contributions their website provides information about hosting charity events to support the cause. The website also outlines different events in your location that you can attend to support breast cancer awareness.

Breast Cancer Awareness and Education

Today our society is far more educated about breast cancer than in the recent past. A big aspect of that knowledge comes from breast cancer survivors or memorial funds set up to inform other women of the risks and the proactive measures for early detection, those of which include:

Self-examination: The American Cancer Society provides information about breast self-examination. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, but other symptoms are also possible. It’s important to have any breast change checked by a health care provider.

Clinical examination: A doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, or another medical professional can perform a clinical examination to check for breast cancer. Breast cancer is sometimes found after symptoms appear, but many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. This is why regular breast cancer screening is so important.

Mammogram: A mammogram can reveal the presence of breast cancer. This is the most common type of breast cancer test, including for healthy women. According to the American Cancer Society Women ages, 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so. Women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years or can continue yearly screening.

Other tests: There is a range of other tests that could detect breast cancer, including PET scans, blood tests, ultrasound, DNA tests, and others. Talk to your doctor and get information about what type of test is appropriate for you.

Biopsy testing:  If other tests show the signs of breast cancer, a biopsy might be performed. The need for a breast biopsy doesn’t indicate the presence of cancer, just that there are indicators that it may be present. During a biopsy, a doctor will remove small pieces from the suspicious area so they can be looked at in the lab to see if they contain cancer cells.

Risk Factors

While living a healthy lifestyle will not protect you from developing breast cancer, there are risk factors that will increase the potential for the development. By exercising, maintaining a healthy diet and weight you can decrease your risk for developing cancers including breast cancer.

The factors that increase the risk of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society include:

  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol has been clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Weight: after menopause increases breast cancer risk. Before menopause your ovaries make most of your estrogen, and fat tissue makes only a small part of the total amount. After menopause (when the ovaries stop making estrogen), most of a woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue after menopause can raise estrogen levels and increase your chance of getting breast cancer.
  • Lack of activity: Evidence is growing that regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risk, especially in women past menopause.
  • Family history: If your family has a history of breast cancer, your likely hood of developing any type of cancer is increased.
  • Birth control: Some birth control methods use hormones, which might increase breast cancer risk.
  • Hormone therapy: Use of combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer.

Health insurance

Health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act have an obligation to provide mammograms with no co-pay or deductible (with some exceptions). It is vital that your health insurance permits you to be screened for cancers including breast cancer on a consistent basis. Our team at Premier Planning Services is always available to answer your questions about your health insurance coverage, as well as life insurance to protect those you love.

Premier Planning Services

We support all efforts that help keep the people in our community healthy. We are here to assist with any health insurance or life insurance questions, and we are always available to review your existing policies and advise you about different plans and options, less expensive health insurance plans, or higher levels of coverage. We are here to help you have the right insurance to protect you and your family, so you can stay healthy. Call us!

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