Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Knowing your risk for breast cancer is critical for early detection and prevention. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Livewell4Health wants to educate the public on this dreadful disease.

A women’s risk for breast cancer increases as she gets older. A personal or family history of breast cancer also increases the risk, as does extremely dense breast tissue, which can mask or hide breast cancer.

In Michigan during 2019, it is estimated that 9,310 new cases of breast cancer in women and 1,410 deaths from the disease will have occurred.

Two important ways to limit your risk for breast cancer include:

1. Getting regular breast cancer screenings. The United States Preventive Services Task Force, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the American Cancer Society recommend:

  • Women should be able to start screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.

  • Women who are more at risk should begin screening at age 40.

  • Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms by age 45. All women should begin mammography screening by age 50 at the latest.

  • Breast exams, either from a medical provider or self-exams, are no longer recommended.

2. Incorporating healthy behaviors in your life, including:

  • Increasing physical activity

  • Quitting smoking

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Limiting alcohol intake

To find out more about healthy lifestyles and breast cancer prevention and screening, talk with your health care provider or local Health Department.

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Content contained on this site is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice.