Breast Cancer Awareness
It was so exciting to see all of you at our breast cancer awareness event. Patients were able to feel the synthetic boobies to get any understanding of the difference between a breast with and without lumps. Our providers showed patients how to perform their own self-exams. We are thankful to all of you who shared your story and send love & blessings to those enduring the challenges of cancer.
Have you checked your Boobies today?
If your answer is “No” or “I haven’t had time”, let’s make time and change it to a “Yes”.
When is the best time to check?
The best time to do a monthly self-breast exam is about 3 to 5 days after your period starts. Do it at the same time every month. Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy at this time in your monthly cycle. If you have gone through menopause, do your exam on the same day every month. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001993.htm
Did you know?
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2017, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.
Statistics from: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
When to contact your doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you feel unsure, have questions or notice the following:
- A hard lump or knot near your underarm
- Changes in the way your breasts look or feel, including thickening or prominent fullness that is different from the surrounding tissue
- Dimples, puckers, bulges or ridges on the skin of your breast
- A recent change in a nipple to become pushed in (inverted) instead of sticking out
- Redness, warmth, swelling or pain
- Itching, scales, sores or rashes
- Bloody nipple discharge