Educational Resources for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
In addition to being Physical Therapy Month, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer effecting women in the United States; one in eight women will develop breast cancer within their lifetimes. It is a widespread disease with a high mortality rate. And yet, many women are still under-informed about this critical health challenge. The following resources are designed to help women learn to prevent, detect and overcome breast cancer.
Preventing Breast Cancer
While a number of lifestyle choices may impact cancer risk, the number one way to prevent serious health problems due to breast cancer is to be aware of your personal risk. The University of Kansas Cancer Center operates the Breast Cancer Prevention Center, which is a leading institution in the prevention of breast cancer. They recommend that all women know their family history of breast cancer, understand their mammographic breast density – which can give clues to cancer risk – and, potentially, look into genetic testing to identify specific markers which may increase the risk of cancer. You can learn more about their techniques here.
Detecting Breast Cancer
While therapies for combating breast cancer are making progress, the most effective defense against the disease is
still early detection. The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers a comprehensive overview of breast cancer detection techniques. They recommend that women over 40 get annual mammograms and recommend women in their 20s and 30s get clinical breast exams at least once every three years. The ACS also recommends women begin giving themselves self-examinations starting in their 20s. Click here to see the ACS’s detailed advice regarding breast exams, including advice for women who know they are at risk of developing breast cancer.
Overcoming Breast Cancer
Though there is no way to guarantee a positive outcome for patients with breast cancer, medical technology is making new treatment options available. The best way to determine a course of treatment is in conversation with your family and medical professionals, as well as through personal reflection. Even after a battle with breast cancer, however, many women face challenges. It is not uncommon to seek the services of a psychiatric professional after facing cancer. Again, your doctors and family are important resources in this regard.