October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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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.

When caught early, localized breast cancer is 98 percent curable, said Lanell Jacobs, director of oncology services at Gordon Hospital. 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.

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 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.

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