October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a health observance where the importance of breast awareness, education and research is highlighted by people and organizations worldwide.
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
Risk factors for breast cancer include drinking alcohol, being overweight, age, inherited genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 and having a family history of breast cancer. Though there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are things that can help lower the risk such as being active, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting or avoiding alcohol.
Symptoms of breast cancer can include a change in size or shape of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, or a new lump in the breast or underarm area. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.
“Localized breast cancer is 98 percent curable when caught early,” said Lanell Jacobs, director of oncology services at AdventHealth Gordon. “That is why it is so important for women to get their mammograms at the appropriate age. It is recommended that women begin getting mammograms at age 40 unless there is a family history of breast cancer.”
Early detection can make a big difference in the approach and success of breast cancer treatment. Regularly scheduled mammograms can even save lives. The Edna Owens Breast Center at AdventHealth Gordon offers the latest 3D SmartCurve mammogram technology backed by a team of breast care experts who are compassionate and caring. The center serves the community as a one-stop, patient-focused center for the rapid diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of breast diseases.
The Edna Owens Breast Center also offers genetic testing to assess breast cancer risk in patients and help determine appropriate care for those already diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing is the only way to determine if someone has a mutation, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and other cancers. This allows the patient and their physician to take steps to manage those risks. To see if genetic testing is right for you, discuss your risk factors with your physician.