October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As always, we want to encourage you to become proactive about your health! Generations Of Women OBGYN has written a very important post for us, with their top ten ways to take control of your breast health. Thank you Generations Of Women for sharing these important tips with us!
10 Ways To Be Proactive About Your Breast Health
1 Perform Breast Self Exams (BSE) monthly. Women older than 20 years should perform monthly breast self-examinations(BSE). If you still have menstrual periods, you should perform the examination a few days after your period has ended.During this time, your breasts are not tender. If you are not menstruating (such as in menopause), BSE should be performed on the same day each month. For a detailed explanation of how to perform a BSE visit www.gowobgyn.com under patient resources.
2 Know your cancer family history. 10% of breast cancer is hereditary. Communicate to your provider who in your family has had breast and/or ovarian cancer and at what age they were diagnosed. This will allow your doctor to put a screening plan in place according to your family history, and if appropriate consider genetic testing to identify if you have a hereditary cancer risk.
3 Schedule routine mammograms. The age to start mammography varies for each patient depending on a number of risk factors. The general population recommendation is to start mammography yearly starting at age 40. There are several mammography options available so talk to your provider to find out which one is best for you.
4 Be familiar with your breasts. I know this may sound a little funny but seriously, knowing your body is so important to maintaining your health. If you notice any dimpling, lumps, nipple discharge, breast pain, or any other changes that are out of the ordinary, contact your doctor immediately.
5 Keep a healthy diet and exercise routine. Gaining weight in adulthood appears to increase the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. *Women who gain about 20 pounds or more after age 18 could potentially increase their risk up to 45%. This is why a healthy diet and exercise routine are recommended.
6 Schedule clinical breast exam at least once a year. I know we all have busy schedules but it’s important that you see your healthcare provider yearly for a clinical breast exam and talk about your breast health. If possible, schedule it the same time every year so you won’t forget.
7 Breast cancer affects men too! A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1000. That may not seem like a lot but, 2,360 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2014. So guys, check your pecks too!
8 Speak up and get involved. We still have a long way to go as there are still more stigmas about breast cancer, but we are making progress. Having open dialogue amongst family, friends, and the healthcare community will continue to spread awareness.
9 Stay in communication with your doctor. No question is a dumb question and no concern should go unexamined. Seriously ladies, be proactive, it could save your life. Again, if you notice ANY changes, please inform your doctor immediately.
10 Join The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk! Generations of Women has partnered with The American Cancer Society to bring you the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. If you have a cancer family history, or know of anyone who does, please join us on October 12th at Hurkamp Park for a free cancer family history evaluation. Dr. Mercado and the physicians at GOW will be evaluating your cancer family history to see if you are a candidate for a genetic test that could save your life and the lives of your family members. Consultations are from 12-3 and the walk starts at 1:30.
Please join us on October 9th at 8:00pm on our Facebook Page for an Ask The Expert session with Generations of Women OBGYN!
We will be answering your questions and discussing current women's health issues. Come join the discussion!
For more information please visit www.gowobgyn.com