October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a month dedicated to spreading the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer during their lifetime—or, 178,000 women each year. Despite the high numbers breast cancer effects, many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. It is highly encouraged that women (age 40+) have scheduled mammograms—the screening test for breast cancer—especially women ages 50-74, who should be screened every two years. It’s important to note however, that while it’s more common in women, men are also susceptible to breast cancer. Nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed each year as well.
The causes of breast cancer are still unknown; however, there are many risk factors that can increase your chance of it developing.
Some unavoidable risk factors include:
- Family history, and more.
When it comes to preventable risk factors, the list includes but is not limited to:
- Drinking less alcohol
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting cigarette smoking
Visit the American Cancer Society’s website for a more in-depth look at risk factors for breast cancer.
During October, there are many ways you can get involved to help raise awareness of breast cancer. Whether it’s taking part in a fundraising event or starting one of your own, participating in a walk for the cure, or simply educating yourself and others about early detection and prevention, there are many ways you can help join the fight against breast cancer!
Friendly reminder: Members of the Compass Rose Health Plan (women age 35 and older) are covered at 100% for annual routine mammograms. See your health plan brochure for more information.