October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Did you know that nearly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life?  The key to survival is early detection and proper screenings.  Our pharmacist, along with your physician, can be a great resource to help answer your questions about this disease.  We’re here to answer your questions and help you have the resources and information to live a long, healthy life.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without the usual controls on cell death and cell division. (info via http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FAQ.html)

What are the signs of breast cancer?
The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. In fact, some women have no signs that they can see. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away:

  • A lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in breast size or shape
  • 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

(Info via http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FAQ.html)

Am I at risk for breast cancer?

1 in 8 women are diagnosed with some form of breast cancer at some point in their lives.  Women who have a family history have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, however, only 10% of breast cancer cases come from individuals who have known family history of the disease.

What can I do to help prevent breast cancer?

Awareness, regular mammogram screenings and early detection are key for prevention and survival of this disease. Studies have shown that a yearly mammogram in women over the age of 40 can help to ensure early detection and successful treatment. In addition, a healthy diet, exercise and leading an overall healthy lifestyle can help to lower your risk. Always talk to your doctors about your concerns and questions regarding your health and breast cancer.