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Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer found among all women worldwide. While breast cancer can’t be prevented it is important to be proactive in minimizing your risk.

Getting regular mammograms is still the best test doctors have to find breast cancer early, but it is also important to know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice a change in the size or shape of your breast, feel pain in your breast, have nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood), or other symptoms, talk to a doctor right away. Women ages 50-74 should have a mammogram every 2 years.

If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer or other risk factors, you should talk to your doctor about ways to manage your risk. If your risk is high, your doctor may suggest that you get genetic counseling and be tested for changes. Your doctor may also talk to you about getting mammograms earlier and more often than other women, whether other screening tests might be right for you, and medicines or surgeries that can lower your risk.

Facts About Breast Cancer In The United States

  • One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

  • Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.

  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 460 will die each year.

  • On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.

  • Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

Talk with your doctor about knowing the signs and symptoms and create a prevention plan with steps you can take to help minimize your risk.

If you are uninsured or are struggling financially, visit for information on the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.


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