It’s October, and we’re talking breast health. So what exactly does that include? It’s about knowing your breast cancer risk based on family history; having regular screenings; knowing what’s normal for you/seeing your doctor if you notice any changes, and finally, making healthy lifestyle choices.
Below are some smart guidelines from the Susan G Komen Foundation.
1. Know your risk
• Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
• Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened
• Talk with your health care provider about which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk
• Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
• Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20 & every year starting at age 40
• Sign up for your screening reminder at komen.org/reminder
3. Know what’s normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes:
• Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
• Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
• Change in the size or shape of the breast
• Dimpling or puckering of the skin
• Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
• Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
• Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
• New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Add exercise into your routine
• Limit alcohol intake
• Breastfeed, if you can
And one more recommendation that we thoroughly believe in: go for a mammogram with a friend. Meet for coffee, make it a date and most importantly, get it done. Pictured above is us doing just that last week, with our breast care team.
Wishing you great health and a happy fall.