Think P.I.N.K. to reduce breast cancer risk

| October 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

Theresa K. Jackson
U.S. Army Public Health Command

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — October brings with it many great things: the start of autumn, football games, candy corn, pumpkin lattes at Starbucks … and a lot of pink.

In October, we see pink ribbons, pink candies, pink T-shirts, pink bracelets, pink sneakers and pink accents on our favorite football players.

The pink we see is to raise awareness for women’s health because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. About one in eight women in the U.S., or 12 percent, will develop invasive breast cancer during the course of their lifetime.

This year, in the U.S. alone, more than 230,000 women — or nearly 600 women per day — will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Therefore, the U.S. Army Public Health Command encourages all of our female Soldiers and Army wives, sisters, mothers and daughters to think P.I.N.K.:

  • Participate in screening.
    The chances of survival are better if cancer is detected early and before it spreads to other parts of the body. When breast cancer is found early and confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.To promote early detection, the American Cancer Society recommends that women in their 20s and 30s receive a clinical breast exam, or CBE, every three years, and women age 40 and older receive a yearly CBE and a yearly mammogram.
  • Invest in prevention.
    Women often struggle with balancing family, work and taking care of themselves. Be sure to eat right, get enough sleep, exercise and avoid alcohol use. These actions will help you feel better and may also reduce your risk of cancer.In a study from the Women’s Health Initiative, briskly walking for at least one to two hours per week reduced a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 18 percent.
  • Note your risks.
    All women are at risk for breast cancer. The two most important risk factors are being female and getting older. Most breast cancers and associated breast cancer deaths occur in women ages 50 and older. Risk also increases if you have a first-degree relative (mother, daughter or sister) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.Knowing your risks, communicating them with your health care provider and following the appropriate screening recommendations is key to early detection.
  • Know your body.
    No matter your age, you should become familiar with how your breasts look and feel. If you notice any changes such as a lump, swelling, dimpling, pain or redness, see your health care provider right away. Finding a breast change does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Your provider will be able to offer you additional information and next steps.

Resources

For additional information on Women’s Health Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness month, visit these sites:

 

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Category: Community, Health

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