When Should I get Screened for Breast Cancer?
According to the CDC, if you are a women who is 50 to 74 years old, you should generally have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, or think you may have a higher risk of breast cancer, ask your doctor when to have a screening mammogram. Women with many risk factors such as genetic conditions or a strong family history might want to start screening early.
Now is a good time to call and schedule your regular mammogram!
What are some Signs of Breast Cancer?
Even while getting your regular screenings, it is important to know what is normal for your own breasts. According to the National Breast Cancer Coalition, around 80% of breast cancers are first discovered at home, but most of those are during regular activities such as dressing or showering. The CDC lists the following as some possible symptoms of breast cancer:
- A lump or pain in the breast.
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin on the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Fluid other than breast milk from the nipple, especially blood.
- A change in the size or the shape of the breast.
What Can I do to Avoid Getting Breast Cancer?
There is no known way to completely avoid getting breast cancer, or any cancer. The number one risk factor is aging, and no matter what the beauty industry tells us, we can’t turn back to the clock. Many other risk factors such as genetic mutations or family histories are also things we cannot prevent or change. There are ways we can lower our risk of breast cancer though and those include:
- Eating healthy
- Following screening guidelines
- Avoiding known carcinogens