Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October brings with it the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn, but it’s also a time to think pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease, meaning you’ll likely know someone touched by it—whether it’s through a friend or relative. Knowing the risk factors and proper screening can help detect the disease earlier, leading to more successful treatment and better outcomes.

types of breast cancer

causes & risk factors
The cause of breast cancer is unknown; however, there are known risk factors. Some of these factors cannot be changed, such as being born female, getting older, race and ethnicity, family history and certain gene mutations. There also are lifestyle factors associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer that can be modified. These include:

screening recommendations
The most reliable way to detect breast cancer early is regular screening. The age you should begin annual mammograms depends on your risk for developing the disease—risk factors include family history, race and lifestyle factors, such as drinking, weight and not having children. Siteman Cancer Center recommends that women receive a formal breast cancer risk assessment at age 25.

If your risk is determined to be average, screening recommendations are:

There are three common types of imaging done to detect breast cancer.

breast cancer by the numbers

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, Siteman Cancer Center

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