Statistics show that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. Given this percentage, most of us have likely been affected by this disease, directly or indirectly, or will be. But this does not mean that anyone should sit idly by waiting for it to strike.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has a proactive “Early Detection” page where it offers information on symptoms and signs, guidance on how to perform a breast self-exam, healthy habits that can help reduce breast cancer risk, and more. You can access all of this by visiting them here.
If there’s good news around the topic of breast cancer, it’s that most women can survive it if it’s found and treated early. What’s important is that you talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms depending on your age and family history.
While breast screenings in the form of routine mammograms remain the gold standard for early detection, these tests are often painful, sometimes inaccurate, and have generated false-positive test results, leading women to unnecessary medical treatments. To counter this, an imaging test known as breast thermography is becoming an important adjunctive procedure.
Themography is a pain-free, non-invasive test that measures heat emanating from the surface of your body. It’s worth learning more about if you’re interested an additional risk assessment tool. You can read my previous blog on the topic here.
Over the years, I’ve addressed several other aspects of breast cancer as well:
In this video, I answered reader Ella’s question about what to eat while undergoing radiation treatment for stage 3 breast cancer.
In another video, I addressed a concerned reader’s query about the connection between high insulin levels and breast cancer risk:
I’ve also written about the role of Vitamin D in slowing the progression of breast cancer and decreased risk seen in women ages 50-79 who exercise.
This Breast Cancer Awareness month, I encourage you to ensure you’ve got a personal plan for routine screening, and to maybe even go a step further–talk to the women in your life about their plan and remind others of its importance.