Aging in Alabama aims to educate and bring attention to the needs of aging adults and their children. During the month of October, we would be remiss if we did not discuss breast cancer awareness. The two biggest factors for breast cancer are being older and female.
The older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer. Rates are highest in women over age 70. Research suggests that women older than 70 have decreased immune defense mechanisms, making it harder for their bodies to deal with metastasized tumors.
The physical and emotional support of family, friends, and others are essential as you go through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. While breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, it can be treated. Education and awareness are vital to protecting women now and in the future.
Know your risk.
Talk to your family to learn about your family health history.
Talk to your provider about your personal risk of breast cancer.
Ask your doctor which screening test are right for you if you are at a higher risk.
Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk.
Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40.
Know what is normal for you.
See your healthcare provider if you notice any of these breast changes:
Lump, hard knot, or thickening
Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
Change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
Make healthy lifestyle choices.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Add exercise into your routine.
Limit alcohol intake.
Find more information by visiting Susan G. Komen Foundation.