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National Breast Cancer Awareness

Living Well

It’s time to Think Pink.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Each year, organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure focus on breast cancer awareness and early detection measures. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been around for more than 25 years. In 2013, the NBCAM.org anticipates 232,000 new breast cancer cases among women.

The NBCAM also emphasizes women’s breast health through education about mammograms.

A few tips via NationalBreastCancer.org:

Self-exam

It’s recommended that women perform self breast exams on a monthly basis. According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

By performing these self-exams, women will get to know their body well, and be able to detect any abnormal changes. Abnormalities could include lumps and skin changes. However, the Mayo Clinic notes that breast lumps don’t necessarily have to be cancerous. More information on worrisome symptoms can be found via the Mayo Clinic on breast lumps here.

If you are concerned after performing a self exam, it’s best to follow up with a health care provider for further evaluation.

Mammograms

Your Flexible Spending Account will also cover a visit to a health care provider for a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray that examines breast tissue. It looks for any abnormalities and can even detect lumps before they form.

Healthy living

Another way to reduce the risk of breast cancer involves a healthy, active lifestyle.

Early Detection

You can create your own free Early Detection Plan via earlydetectionplan.org.The National Cancer Institute reports, “When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.”

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