Breast cancer awareness

GEHA | October 29, 2018

women's health
Start taking the proper steps to reduce your chance of getting breast cancer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time for a reminder about the importance of regular screenings to monitor your health.

A screening is a test that can detect cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear so that it may be more easily treated. In recent years, cases of breast cancer among women ages 50 and older have declined, due in part to better screening, early detection, increased awareness and improved treatment options. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.

A cervical cancer screening with a Pap test can help to detect precancerous cells before it turns into cancer. When found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and a good quality of life.

The main factors that influence your risk for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. However, several factors over the course of your lifetime can also influence your risk, including being overweight after menopause, not being physically active, taking hormones, your family history and drinking alcohol. Some women will get breast cancer even without any known risk factors. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. The best ways to lower your risk are to get regular exercise, keep a healthy weight, limit alcoholic drinks and breastfeed your children, if possible.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.



Sources:
CDC.gov “Basic information about cervical cancer.” CDC.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, 2 August 2018
CDC.gov “What are the risk factors for breast cancer?”  CDC.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, 11 September 2018.
CDC.gov “What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?” CDC.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, 11 September 2018
Nationalbreastcancer.org “Breast cancer facts.” Nationalbreastcancer.org, National Breast Cancer Foundation, LLC.