According to the CDC, approximately 255,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States every year - with 42,000 of those women ultimately dying from the cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a time to raise awareness about the impact and symptoms of breast cancer, and steps you can take to potentially lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
Many breast cancers are found in older women, but women of all ages can be impacted. Mammograms are one of the best screenings to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, while it is easier to treat. Most women are encouraged to start getting yearly mammograms at age 40, but if you're at a greater risk of getting breast cancer because of factors outside of your control, your primary care provider may advise starting yearly screenings at an earlier age.
There are several things that you do have control over, that can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer, though:
Engage in regular exercise
Maintain a healthy weight
Limit your alcohol consumption
Ask your provider about more ways to lower your risk, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer or changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
Additionally, getting your annual mammogram is another important step to take. A provider order is not required to get a mammogram at MCMC, and you can call 507-836-1294 to schedule your screening today.