Here’s the Fact
1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime; it’s the leading cancer diagnosis in women. Less common, 1 in 75 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime –the deadliest gynecologic disease.
The Bright News
80% of breast cancers in young women are discovered by the women themselves, and then confirmed by a doctor. If you find a lump, don’t panic – 80% of lumps end up being non-cancerous!
Paying attention to persistence is key! Know what’s normal for your body. If breast or ovarian cancer symptoms persist after 2-3 weeks, call your doctor. When caught early, the 5-year survival rate for breast and ovarian cancer is greater than 92%.
Regardless of your risk for breast and ovarian cancers, exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding smoking and getting enough Vitamin D, all contribute to lowering that risk.
Who We Know?
Emmy-winning comedic actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus said on Thursday (Sept 28) that she was battling breast cancer and highlighted the case for universal health care.
"The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let's fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality,"
What’s My Risk Quiz?
Here’s a tool to help you assess your personal level of risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Protect Yourself from Breast Cancer
The best way to protect you from breast cancer is to go for regular mammograms. Doing monthly breast self-examination also keeps you aware of any changes to your breasts.
(1) Go for a mammogram every two years
During the process, a female radiographer will put your breast between two flat plastic plates and compress for a few seconds. This is performed on one breast at a time. Some discomfort may be felt but it is important for the breast tissue to be compressed in order to take a clear X-ray.
(2) Practice monthly breast self examination
In addition, you can also make changes to your lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in fats
- Take less than one alcoholic drink a day or avoid alcohol completely
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