This October, Care to Care is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer in women, affecting 1 in 8 U.S. women over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million U.S. women with a history of breast cancer. Breast cancer is a disease that affects women of all ages, races, and ethnicities. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (risk of breast cancer increases with age). Although a woman’s risk of breast cancer almost doubles if she has a first-degree relative with breast cancer, it is important to know that an overwhelming majority (85%) of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history.
The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to increase understanding and awareness of the disease, encourage women to take the lifesaving steps to detect the disease in its early stages, and inspire others to do the same. Most women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early. Early detection with annual screening mammogram has been the main reason why the breast cancer death rate has decreased by 36% since 1989. The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that women at average risk of breast cancer get yearly mammograms starting at age 40. Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) of breast cancer may need to begin annual screening mammogram at an earlier age and should also include annual screening Breast MRI as an adjunct to screening mammography. All women should become familiar with both the appearance and feel of their breasts and report any changes promptly to their physician. Most importantly, talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and your appropriate screening plan. Early detection is your best protection!
Rachel Title, MD
Chief Medical Officer