Two women together
Oct 2, 2018

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 240,000 women in the United States are affected by breast cancer. Throughout the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope to educate others on potential risk factors, the importance of early detection, and share a few prevention tips.

Research shows that about 8 out 10 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. The most significant risks related to breast cancer are simply being a woman and maturing in age. However, there are a few risk factors that we can control:

  1. Studies show that women who are overweight are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Additionally, women are at a higher risk of experiencing a recurrence of breast cancer when overweight in comparison to women who maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, there is a link between a woman’s risk for breast cancer and the amount of alcohol she consumes.

  2. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help women and men gain better control over their health. Research shows that exercising regularly for 4 to 7 hours a week can lower the risk of breast cancer. Developing a well-balanced diet also helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Eating a high-nutrient and antioxidant filled diet will help boost your immune system and keep your body healthy!

  3. Early detection and screenings are crucial. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, women aged 50 to 74 years old should receive biennial screenings for breast cancer. In addition to self-exams, it is recommended that all individuals address their unique health needs with their healthcare providers. The Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force works towards providing free mammograms within the Chicagoland area. The CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), also provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women.

The Y wishes you a happy and healthy October!