Sunday, October 24, 2010

Get The Facts About Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month makes October the month to think pink. It’s the month dedicated to settling rumors surrounding breast cancer. And while this month is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the www.NBCAM.org Web site is a year-round resource for breast cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and the general public.

What is Breast Cancer?

According to cancer.org, Breast cancer is a type of cancer that originates from a malignant tumor that invades the surrounding breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. The disease usually occurs almost entirely in women, but men can also get it, too.

Do you only get breast cancer if it runs in your family?

Here’s the truth, scientists and researchers still don’t know what really causes breast cancer. And in fact only 5 to 10% of cases are due to defective breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.
According to the American Cancer Society, women who have a family history of breast cancer may get it not specific due to gene mutations, but, rather to a combination of shared lifestyle factors and genetic susceptibilities.

How can I find out if I have breast cancer?

If you feel a change in how your breast or nipple feels or looks; like a lump, pain and swelling, or thickening in or near the breast, then you should schedule an appointment with your doctor for a mammogram. Mammograms have been known to detect breast cancer in its early stages reducing deaths among patients by about 16%. It's actually pretty important that all women have an annual breast exam performed by a health care provider after the age of 18 and pay close attention to their own bodies to spot potential changes as early as possible.

A great way to pay close attention to your breasts is by performing a self examination at home. Just use the tips of your three middle fingers to feel for lumps or thickening of your breasts. You can either cover the breast in a circular motion, moving in an up and down motion or moving outwards from the center in a wedge motion. Do it the same way every time and it will help you to make sure that you've gone over the entire breast area.

How could I reduce my chances of breast cancer? 

Simple ways to reduce your chances include; regular exercise, that lowers our levels of estrogen which is linked to breast cancer and eating healthy. Limiting your alcohol intake, according to the National Cancer Institute, shows that women who have one or two drinks daily increase the risk of the most common kind of breast cancer by 32%—and those who drink more hike their risk by 51%. And while a glass of wine has been known to have other health benefits, experts recommend no more than a glass a day. 
But most of all, don’t stress about breast cancer. If you follow these suggestions, you are doing all that you can to minimize your risk. Use these tips as reminders to take care of your body, but don't get hung up on them. You just being aware of your body will help you.

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