Among women in the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer, after skin cancer. It accounts for nearly one in three cancers diagnosed in women. By the end of 2013, an estimated 232,340 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and an estimated 39,620 women will die from the disease.
The risks generally increase with age. Almost eight of every ten new breast cancer cases, and almost nine of every ten breast cancer deaths, are in women 50 years old and older.
The good news, according to the American Cancer Society, is that breast cancer death rates have dropped 34-percent in the United States since 1990. Though death rates have fallen over the last couple of decades, the fight against breast cancer is ongoing.
During October, Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston is observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though there is no way to prevent breast cancer, studies have shown that there are healthy ways to lower your risk of developing the disease.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity and carrying excess weight increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits.
• Be physically active. Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a ten- to twenty-percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who do not exercise. Even a little physical activity beyond your daily routine can have an impact.
• Limit alcohol consumption. Many studies have confirmed that drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about seven- to twelve-percent for each serving per day. If you do drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than one drink per day.
• Do not smoke. A recent study by American Cancer Society researchers found that current smokers had a twelve-percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who never smoked. Research also suggests that the risk may be greater for women who begin smoking before they give birth to their first child. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your overall health.
• Get regular mammograms and check-ups. To find breast cancer early, when treatments are most likely to be successful, the American Cancer Society recommends women 40 and older have a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year. Younger women should have clinical breast exams periodically as well (preferably at least every three years).
Early detection is the best protection. During the month of October, Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation is giving away ‘Celebrate Life’ manicure sets to all who come in for a mammogram at Mile Bluff.
For more information, or to make an appointment, call 608-847-6161 today.