Early detection is key to breast cancer prevention

October 05, 2015

 

You may have already packed away your swimsuits for fall, but that?s no reason to ignore ?the girls? until next year."

You may have already packed away your swimsuits for fall, but that’s no reason to ignore “the girls” until next year.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While breast cancer-related deaths have been on the decline since the ‘90s, early preventative measures can help to lower that number for years to come.

Get started with a screening program well before your first mammogram. The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends that adult women of all ages perform a breast self-exam at least once per month. Beginning these regular screenings in your early 20s helps you learn what’s normal for your body, so you’ll be well prepared to discuss concerns with your doctor if changes arise in the future.

Early detection means that resulting treatments are more likely to be successful. The American Cancer Society recommends that women have their first annual mammogram at age 40. It’s easy to let this exam fall by the wayside, so the American Cancer Society has created a simple screening reminder program. Sign up to receive an email during the month of your birthday with health recommendations based on the latest guidelines and research.

Offer your support to breast cancer research, preventative care or education. Showing solidarity for survivors and those currently battling the disease by wearing pink is just the beginning. A $100 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a mammogram to a woman in need. Your donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be matched (up to $50,000) by a generous donor and breast cancer survivor throughout the month of October. Visit TakePart to learn more about Charity Watch’s top-ranked breast cancer organizations.

There is good news: eight of 10 lumps are not cancerous. Follow these easy steps to take a self-exam today and start October healthy and happy.

Breast Cancer: Mammography Statistics