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Breast Cancer Awareness

» National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
» Screening Mammograms

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that over 178,000 women would be newly diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in 2007, and approximately 40,000 were expected to die from the disease.

Who is at risk for breast cancer?
Simply being a woman and getting older puts you at some risk for breast cancer. Your risk for breast cancer continues to increase over your lifetime.

What factors can increase your risk for breast cancer?

  • Personal history of a prior breast cancer.
  • Mother, sister, daughter, or two or more close relatives, such as cousins, with a history of breast cancer (especially diagnosed at a young age).
  • A diagnosis of breast condition (i.e. atypical hyperplasia) that may predispose a woman to breast cancer, or a history of two or more breast biopsies for benign breast disease.
  • Women age 45 or older who have at least 75 percent dense tissue on a mammogram are at increased risk.
  • A slight increase in risk for breast cancer is associated with having a first birth at age 30 or older
  • Early detection saves lives. You can assist by having an annual clinical breast examination by a physician, by performing monthly self-breast examinations and having mammograms in accordance with the ACS guidelines or your physician's recommendation.

Tips for a good Mammogram:

  1. If you change facilities, ask for your old mammograms and bring them with you to the new facility so they can be compared to the new ones.
  2. If you have sensitive breasts, try having your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be least tender. Try to avoid the week right before your period.
  3. Don't wear deodorant, powder or cream, under your arms — it may interfere with the quality of the mammogram.
  4. Bring a list of the places, dates of mammograms, biopsies, or other breast treatments you have had before.
  5. If you do not hear from your physician within 10 days, call your physician regarding the results of your mammogram

For more information, visit The American Cancer Society's Web site at http://www.cancer.org or call the Health Unit at 358-2600.

Contact:
Health Unit, 358-2600


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