Especially this month! Why? Oh, come on...you've got to know! Haven't you been noticing a lot more of the color pink these days? Like the giant pink ribbons placed in front of local businesses and a lot of people, men and women are wearing pink more often these days. (I'm even wearing a pink tank top as I do this Daily Message for you!) So, why are so many people in the pink during the month of October? Because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month! And pink has been chosen as the color to remind everyone how important it to make sure you're aware and examining yourself closely for signs of breast cancer.
2.8 million women in the United States have a history of invasive breast cancer in their families.
Did you know that 2.8 million women living in the United States have a history of invasive breast cancer in their families? That doesn't necessarily mean they themselves will end up getting the disease. But it does mean they should be extra cautious and examine their breasts monthly and report any suspicious lump to their doctors. You can never be too careful. This year alone, over 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. And early detection is one of the main weapons you can use to fight the disease.
In fact, on the subject of early detection, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 99%, that is when the cancer is detected early. See why being checked for breast cancer is so important? And you have as important a role to play in early detection as your doctor, which is why self-examination of your breasts is so important. Women often notice growths while showering or dressing because they're familiar enough with their own bodies to spot even small changes. And by the way, not just those suspicious lumps but skin-dimpling can also be a sign of breast cancer. One thing to remember is that a lump you find in your breasts does not always mean it's breast cancer. So please don't panic if you discover one. Just be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you do find a suspect lump in your breasts.
There are things you can do to help reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Like I said, if there's a genetic history of breast cancer in your family, you should be extra careful to examine yourself on a regular basis. But there are also things you can do to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Weight gain, after the age of 18 and/or simply being overweight or obese increases the risk. Physical inactivity also increases the risk for breast cancer, another one of a thousand good reasons to make exercise a daily part of your life. And consume alcohol in moderation too, okay? Excessive alcohol consumption also raises the risk of breast cancer. By the way, contrary to what a lot of people assume, men are not immune to getting breast cancer. True, it's rare but it does happen. So you guys, it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on those pecs or yours, too.
For more information about breast cancer and how to protect yourself, please click on this Breast Cancer Awareness Month link for more information. I want everyone to be aware of breast cancer this month. And you ladies especially, please make regular breast self-examinations part of your monthly routines. Use the first day of every month as a little reminder to do just that and think...in the pink!
Tomorrow, I'll have a few more tips to help you beat some other forms of cancer so do come back, okay?