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Published on October 6th, 2016 | by University Communications

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Are you aware men have breasts as well? Yes, they do. And when breast cancer is found it could be at a more lethal stage. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 230,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and approximately 40,000 died from it. Approximately 2,300 men were also diagnosed with breast cancer last year. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer, according to www.breastcancer.org.

“The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older,” said Michelle Wilkes, breast health specialist, Naval Hospital Pensacola. “The best defense against breast cancer is early detection with a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam and a mammogram. Think of screening exams as an important gift for yourself and your loved ones.”

It’s important women, and men, regularly check for lumps or abnormalities around their breasts. If something doesn’t look or feel right, contact your physician as soon as possible.

A mammogram can often detect breast cancer long before it can be felt and usually years before physical symptoms appear. If detected early, breast cancer treatment can be less invasive and more successful. Some warning signs of breast cancer include a lump in the breast or armpit, nipple discharge, any change in the size or shape of the breast, or pain in the breast.

Treatment is more successful and better tolerated the sooner it is started. You know your body best. If you find something that doesn’t look or feel right, contact your physician and get it checked out.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms for women starting at the age of 45 and every other year for women 55 and older. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician about breast cancer screening and personal risk factors. Go to this website for more information www.breastcancer.org. Knowledge is power and early detection makes a difference. Come to the Health and Wellness Center for your free Female/Male Shower Self-Exam Card.

Teresa Dadez, BSN, RN, BA
Director of Health and Wellness Center

Photo by Ted Fu | CC BY 

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