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Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon BackgroundWhile most people are aware that breast cancer is an issue, many still don’t take the necessary steps to detect the disease in its early stages. Every October, doctors, nurses and organizations use this month to raise awareness for the detection of breast cancer. 

Important Breast Cancer Stats for 2016

Most people in the United States know a friend or family member who has been impacted by breast cancer. The following stats show how much of a widespread issue it is:

  • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • 246,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year.
  • As of this year, there are more than 2.8 million women who have had, or are being treated for, breast cancer.

5 Year Survival Rates Based on Stage

The survival rate of those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer depends greatly on which stage of cancer they have. 

Localized. If the cancer cells have not spread outside of the breast tissue, 99% of women live five years or longer.

Regionalized. If the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue, 84% of women live five years or longer.

Distant (Metastasis). If the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, 26% of women live five years or longer.

Breast Cancer Must Be Detected Early

Be proactive in monitoring changes in your body and scheduling regular exams! You are much more likely to detect breast cancer in its early stages if you:

Perform Self Breast Exams

By performing a self breast exam once a month, you’ll be able to notice any new growths or changes in your breast tissue. If you feel any changes, make an appointment with your doctor. 

Learn the proper way to perform a self breast exam

Schedule Regular Mammograms

Mammograms are diagnostic x-rays of the breast tissue that help doctors see any growths or abnormal tissue in the breast. In most cases, women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a mammogram performed every two years. Women under 50 may need regular mammograms if they fit certain criteria.

Learn more about mammograms

Test for BRCA Gene Mutations

Researchers have discovered two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that are linked to breast cancer. If a mutation is found in either of these genes, that person’s risk of developing breast cancer is greatly increased. Testing for these mutations is only recommended if:

  • You have a family member with a BRCA1/2 gene mutation.
  • You have a family member who developed breast cancer at 50 or younger.
  • You have a family history of ovarian cancer
  • You have a family history of male breast cancer

Learn more about the BRCA1/2 gene mutation 

How to Decrease Your Risk

While you can’t change genetic factors, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk:

Limit Alcohol Intake. Even small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of developing breast cancer. It is recommended that you drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day. 

Stop Smoking. Cigarettes contain several cancer-causing toxins. In addition to lowering your risk of breast cancer, it is one of the best things you can do improve your overall health.

Lose Weight & Get Active . Obesity increases your risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases. Make an effort to maintain a healthy weight and get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.

Schedule Your Annual Exam

Your annual exam is your best tool to maintain your health. At Winter Haven OBGYN, we provide comprehensive examinations and assess your risk for breast cancer and other potential health issues. To make an appointment, please call (863) 299-1107 or visit our office in Winter Haven, FL. Our clinic also offers a wide variety of OBGYN services for women of all ages and all stages of life, from adolescence to menopause.

 

Sources:

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ChancesForSurvivalBasedOnCancerStage.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676

COVID-19 Update

Winter Haven Obstetrics & Gynecology is committed to your health, which is why we are still open and seeing patients for most appointment types. Please call us today to schedule your appointment!

Appointment Types

As always, we will be closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (863) 299-1107. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

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