October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a month filled with supporting breast cancer patients and survivors, as well as raising funds for research.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S. That’s according to the American Cancer Society, which also states women have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer.
As women age, the chances of getting breast cancer increases. Research from the National Library of Medicine shows elderly women have a six times higher chance of being diagnosed, and an 8 times higher mortalityrate. Researchers also predict a 72% increase in the number of elderly women in the US diagnosed with breast cancer by 2025. These alarming statistics emphasize the critical importance of mammography and breast exams.
Mammograms and Early Detection
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by nearly 40% since 1990. Researchers encourage women ages 40 and older to get an annual mammogram.
In addition to mammography exams, the National Breast Cancer Foundation states all adult women should also perform a monthly breast self-exam. This allows you to learn how the breasts should normally feel, and keep track of any changes. For more information about how to perform a breast self-exam, click here.
Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
Pain in any area of the breast.
If you have any signs or symptoms go to your doctor.
Breast Cancer and Mental Health
Dealing with a tough diagnosis can be mentally draining. It can cause a patient to feel anxious, sad and depressed. This can also go for breast cancer survivors, who may have fears of the cancer returning. The journal, Cancer Medicine, refers to this as “scanxiety”.
There are various therapies that can help support mental health during breast cancer care, including psychoanalytic therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Click here for information on the types of mental health therapies. It is always important to talk to your doctor to find what strategy best suits you.
If you or someone you know is suffering a mental health crisis, you can call the 988 lifeline for 24/7 confidential support.
Wellzesta is committed to spreading useful information and raising awareness of the issues that affect our users.
Wellzesta Life will be sharing intellectually and emotionally stimulating information on breast cancer throughout the month of October in the form of daily articles and videos.
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