Breast Cancer Awareness Month is well under way and although nurses do not directly perform breast exams, it’s still important to be aware of the impact that breast cancer has on many, and how you can reduce the chances of getting breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Statistics
- About 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it’s estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- 2016, there are more than 8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Although October is the designated month for breast cancer awareness, you and your patients should go pink throughout the whole year. Even though most nurses usually do not perform mammograms or other breast exams on patients, it’s important to be aware of what to look for not just in a professional setting, but for yourself as well.
Non-profits like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have teamed up with athletes and celebrities to promote breast cancer awareness. The organization has raised money for the research, awareness, and treatment of breast cancer and was one of the first major organizations to adopt the go pink campaign.
Checking For Breast Cancer
One of the easiest ways to check for breast cancer is to perform a self-breast exam. You should exam your breasts for any lumps or hard areas. If you do happen to find a lump or an abnormality, make an appointment right away to get it checked by your family doctor. It is also good to have a mammogram performed, especially for women over the age of 40. These exams can detect early signs of breast cancer and save thousands of lives every year.
There are numerous other factors that could increase your chance of breast cancer as well. Alcohol and smoking have been linked to an increase in the chances of getting breast cancer. Your diet also plays a big factor, with studies showing that breast cancer occurs more often in those who are unhealthy and inactive. Although these are a few factors that could cause breast cancer, we still don’t know exactly what causes it. Your best bet to help fight breast cancer is to remain aware.