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Oct 16, 2008



October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The number of new cases of breast cancer has increased every year over the last 30 years, and it is the second most common type of cancer for women in the U.S. Prevention is key — when caught early, breast cancer can be treatable. Increase your awareness and do whatever you can to prevent breast cancer from happening to you.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts (ductal cancer), some begin in the lobules (lobular cancer), and a small number start in other tissues. There are many types of breast cancer, but most can be treated if detected in the early stages.

Breast Cancer Prevention

     To help protect against breast cancer, limit alcohol to less than one drink a day or avoid alcohol completely.

     Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise can help lower your risk of breast cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

     Although the effects of diet are still unclear, try to keep your fat intake low as a precaution, and to help keep your weight stable.

     Be vigilant about detection. Begin scheduling yearly mammograms at age 40, and conduct self-exams at home. Remind yourself to do self-exams every day in the shower.

     If you notice lumps or changes in the skin, don't wait to act. Call your doctor right away for a screening and evaluation.

     Spread the word about prevention. Encourage your friends and family to conduct self-exams, schedule yearly mammograms, and stay active.

American Cancer Society – www.cancer.org
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month –  http://nbcam.org

National Breast Cancer Foundation –  http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

Mayo Clinic –  http://www.mayoclinic.com