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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is considered to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many cancer related organizations and hospitals plan activities for community members, individuals with cancer and their families. This is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made in terms of diagnosing and treating breast cancer and a time for providing information and hope for the future.

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NCBA) has educated women for 20 years about early breast cancer, detection, diagnosis, and treatment. NCBA has several key messages.

The most important one has been early detection through annual mammography for women over 40 years old. Mammography screenings provide the best chance for detecting breast cancer early. It is also important for women to do breast self examination (BSE).

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends the following guidelines for healthy women:

1) Women should have yearly mammograms starting at age 40 years old.

2) Women should have a clinical breast examination as part of their physical in their 20’s and 30’s and every year once they turn 40 years old.

3) Women should know how their breasts feel and report any breast changes. They should perform breast self examination monthly.

4) Women who are at risk (e.g., have a family history of breast cancer) should discuss with their physicians when to start mammograms and other possible tests (e.g., breast ultrasound or MRI).

ACS also provides a mammogram reminder. You fill out the form on the ACS site with a month and day then the ACS will send you a reminder each year to schedule your mammogram.
For further information there are several credible organizations you can contact. These are listed below.

National Breast Cancer Coalition

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

American Cancer Society

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