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October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month-Know Your Risk

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide?   Know your risk for breast cancer.

Every time I see my doctor for my mammograms, she hands me a flyer with breast cancer information on it.  The very first thing on the flyer is knowing your risk.  Breast self-awareness is key in the fight against breast cancer.

1.  Know your risks

Know your family health history and talk to your doctor about it.  Is breast cancer strong in your family?  What’s your personal risk of breast cancer?  Have a conversation with your doctor about all of this.

2.  Get screened

If you’re at a higher risk for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about what screening tests are best for you.

Don’t forget to have a mammogram every year beginning at 40, if you’re at average risk.

Make sure you have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at 20, and once a year starting at 40.

Know your risk for breast cancer.
Photo by Roberta Parkin/Getty Images

3.  Know what’s normal for you

If you notice any changes, like the ones listed below, see your doctor and find out what’s going on.

Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast.

Swelling, warmth, redness or darkness of the breast.

Change in the shape or size of the breast

Puckering or dimpling of the skin.

Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.

Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.

New pain in one spot that won’t go away.

Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast.

Remember. the signs of breast cancer aren’t the same for all women, so it’s very important to know how your breasts normally look and feel.  See your doctor is you notice any change. 

Next: Advice From A Breast Cancer Survivor

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