October is breast cancer awareness month and it’s important to know the different ways to prevent breast cancer no matter what stage you’re at in life. Our own Debby Knox has more on what you can do at any age to protect yourself.
Nearly 1 in 8 women and 2,000 men in the US will develop breast cancer over the course of their life. But there are things you can do to help reduce your risk.
The biggest ways to reduce your risk are simple lifestyle changes. That includes eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercises, healthy living habits and minimizing alcohol intake and smoking and specialists say the best step you can take is detecting it early. That means doing monthly self-exams and getting mammograms.
Experts say if you have an average risk of developing breast cancer, you should start mammogram discussions at age 40.
From there, between ages 40 to 50, you can choose to get a mammogram each year. Between the ages of 50 and 60 doctors recommend annual mammograms. And after age 60, specialists suggest getting one every other year. For anyone with high risk factors such as a family history of cancer or a history of an abnormal breast biopsy, annual mammograms may begin sooner.
No matter the age you start getting mammograms, doctors say they are the most important step in breast cancer prevention.
So know your risk, live a healthy lifestyle, and do monthly self exams to reduce your risk of breast cancer, that includes men and women.
Franciscan Health has Hematology and Medical Oncology professionals ready to help you reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Because prevention is the first step in defeating breast cancer.
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