October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual event that was established to increase understanding of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the awareness campaign was launched back in 1985 with two members and has grown to include hundreds of sponsors, several government agencies and professional associations.
Early detection is crucial for those diagnosed with breast cancer, which is why yearly mammograms are encouraged for women who are age 40 and older or who have an increased risk of developing the disease because of family history.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation stated that the disease has a survival rate of 98 percent when it’s detected early. Breast cancer can be diagnosed using a number of tests including ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging testing, mammogram and biopsies.
In addition to having an annual mammogram, women and men can do monthly breast self-exams, and schedule regular clinical check-ups to detect the disease.
Once an individual is diagnosed with breast cancer, doctors immediately begin prescribing additional testing to see how far the disease has progressed and to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for breast cancer can include a mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
The best way to stay on top of your breast health is to have regular tests and perform self examinations.