What is breast cancer? At what age should one begin breast cancer screenings? What increases the risk of breast cancer? The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) can tell you what you need to know.
Do you know what factors could increase your risk for breast cancer? They might surprise you. Not being physically active or consuming a lot of alcohol are just two things that can increase your risk. For easy reference, the CDC has a chart with a full list of risk factors.
Mammography saves lives, and one of them may be yours! The fact is that mammography is the best tool available to screen for breast cancer. It has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate in the United States by 30 percent since 1990. Check your facts to see whether you’re overdue for a mammogram.
Men get breast cancer, too
According to the National Cancer Institute, in the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. It can occur in both men and women, but it is rare in men. Each year there are about 100 times more new cases of breast cancer in women than in men.
The American Cancer Society suggests men pay attention to the following symptoms and see a physician if they have any of them:
- a lump or swelling, which is usually (but not always) painless;
- skin dimpling or puckering;
- nipple retraction (turning inward);
- redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin;
- or discharge from the nipple.
With a bit of knowledge and attention to your own body, you can detect the symptoms of diseases like breast cancer while there is still a chance for successful treatment. If you’re a woman over 40, or a younger woman with a certain genetic profile, schedule that annual mammogram!