Breast cancer, the most common cancer for women, doesn’t always cause symptoms, especially early on. But regular exams can find signs of the disease even before symptoms appear. That’s why getting screened regularly is so important.
Starting in their 40s, women should get checked every one or two years. Based on their health history, some women may be at a higher risk and need to start sooner.
Doctors screen for breast cancer by doing a mammogram, or low-dose X-ray of the breast. The screening can detect early signs of cancer long before it becomes a lump that you can feel with your hand.
Breast cancer by the numbers
What can you do?
• Exercise: Physical activity may cut the risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent.
• Stop drinking: Women who average three drinks a week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer than those who don't drink.
• Maintain a healthy weight: Women who gain weight in adulthood, especially in the waist area, have a higher risk of breast cancer.
• Get tested: Call your primary care provider or reach out to Moda Health at 503-243-3962. We’re happy to help connect you with mammography services.
Some good news
There are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. That’s equal to the population of Iowa.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up. Follow Moda Health on social media throughout October for breast cancer facts and ways to get involved in the fight against the disease. Find us on Facebook, or follow @Moda_Health on Twitter.
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