October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so what better time to learn how you can protect yourself and the women you love from breast cancer. Statistics show that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. While those numbers can seem daunting, there are things you can do to lower your risk and be prepared.
Know the risk factors:
- Family or personal history of breast or ovarian cancerBeing over age 40
- Being overweight or obese
- Having no pregnancies or experiencing pregnancy late in life
- Having a period before age 12 or lasting after age 55
- Undergoing menopausal hormone therapy
- Having dense breast tissue
Look out for the symptoms:
- Lumpiness in the breast or around the underarms
- Change in size, shape, color, or texture of the nipple or breast
- Fluid leakage, especially if it is bloody
Get checked out:
You should have regular screening mammograms at least every other year after you are 40 years old. If you have risk factors and experience symptoms, get checked out by your doctor right away. Your doctor may do an in-depth diagnostic mammogram or perform a biopsy to look for cancer. At St. Petersburg General Hospital, The Breast Center offers the latest technology in digital mammography and breast diagnostics.
Consider the treatments:
If you do receive a cancer diagnosis, St. Petersburg General Hospital is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, and we offer a number of treatment options, depending on the stage of the cancer. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments.
- Surgery to remove some or all of the breast tissue
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
The survival rate for breast cancer patients is increasing each year with earlier detection and better treatment methods. Join the pink movement and fight breast cancer with a positive attitude.
Have questions? On Tuesday, October 25, Albert Li, MD, a board-certified surgeon, will lead an informative session: What You Need to Know about Breast Cancer. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Magnolia Gardens, 3800 62nd Avenue North, Pinellas Park, FL 33781. For more information or to make a reservation, just call 1-888-741-5122.