Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 13 2021
By: Dr. Ronald Lopez-Cepero, Avenue 360 Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Behind skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women, according to the American Cancer Society. Every year in the United States around 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and close to 45,000 will die because of it. By far, Harris County has the highest rate of breast cancer diagnoses in Texas, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these cases occur in women who are age 50 and older but can also be present in younger females. Some women will not develop symptoms, but those who do usually notice changes in the size or form of their breasts, experience pain, nipple discharge or a mass.
Mammograms are the best tool to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before symptoms develop. An increased awareness has led to a greater number of women being screened – resulting in early diagnosis and better outcomes.
You can reduce your risk by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, high in fiber and low in fat and processed foods. It is also recommended to drink alcohol in moderation and avoid the use of tobacco products. Breast feeding has also been found to lower the risk of developing breast cancer.
It is important to visit your physician and have a risk assessment at age 30 to evaluate if screening earlier than 40 is needed. Those who have an average risk should begin screening at the age of 40. Those with a history of breast cancer may need further evaluation with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Woman should have a thorough conversation with their healthcare provider to determine the best option for them.
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.