This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month we at Newton Financial thought it was important to highlight this and encourage women between the ages of 50 and 74 to talk with their healthcare providers about getting screened regularly with a mammogram.
We also gathered some information on Breast Cancer and put it all in one place for you right here on our website.
Below you will find some warning signs of Breast Cancer as well as 5 things you might not know about Breast Cancer.
Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
Although these are some warning signs, some people don’t have any symptoms or signs at all. This is why it is important to get checked regularly.
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, although they may not be related to breast cancer, please see your doctor right away.
5 Things You Might Not Know About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario women. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In Ontario, breast cancer happens mostly in women ages 50 to 74 (61 percent of cases). Regular breast cancer screening is important because it can find cancer early when it may be smaller and easier to treat.
Limiting alcohol can reduce your risk. A healthy lifestyle, including limiting alcohol, can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Other factors that may lower a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer are not smoking or using tobacco products, having a healthy body weight, and being physically fit.
Breast cancer has one of the highest survival rates out of all of the cancers in Ontario. Studies show that regular mammograms (and proper follow up testing for abnormal results) lower the risk of dying from breast cancer in women ages 50 to 74. Deaths from breast cancer in the Ontario population went down by about 47 percent in women ages 50 to 74 from 1990 to 2013. This decrease in deaths is probably due to improvements in breast cancer treatment and more women getting screened.
Between 1990 and 2017, more than 39,000 breast cancers have been found by the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) through mammography, most of which were in early stages. From the start of the program in 1990 to July 2017, over 1.9 million women ages 50 to 74 had a mammogram through the OBSP, resulting in more than 7.4 million mammograms completed. The OBSP recommends that most women ages 50 to 74 get screened every two years with mammography. Eligible women can make their own appointments or be referred for screening by a healthcare provider.
Changes in the breast are not always signs of cancer. All women – regardless of age or risk factors – should be breast aware. This means knowing how your breasts normally look and feel so you can tell if there are changes.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about this important topic. Although October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, please keep it top of mind all year long.
Information about the warning signs was gathered from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Information about 5 Things You Might Not Know was gathered from St. Joseph’s Health Care London