Unfortunately, you’re probably no stranger to breast cancer. According to cancer.gov, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women, right behind skin cancer. Although there is no way to prevent breast cancer, there are steps you can take to detect breast cancer early, before it spreads.
5 Steps for Early Breast Cancer Detection
Take care of your health. There are many ways in which you can take control of your health to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your alcohol intake, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly. All of these changes in lifestyle can reduce your risk of getting certain cancers, including breast cancer.
Get regular mammograms. According to the American Cancer Society, women who are ages 40–44 can start getting screened for breast cancer with an annual mammogram. Women who are ages 45–54 should schedule a mammogram every year. Once you're over 55, you can switch to mammograms every two years with your doctor's approval. "Being screened regularly for breast cancer, especially if you are high-risk, can help to detect the disease earlier and prevent it from spreading," Chandler Coleman, a Consumer Insights Investigator for ConsumerSafety.org, says.
See your doctor regularly. "Regular follow up with your family medicine physician or general internist and participation in appropriate screenings, are the best things patients can do to catch breast cancer at an early stage," Matthew Griffin, DO, internal medicine physician with board certification from the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, says. "When breast cancer is detected at an earlier stage the chances are much higher of long-term treatment success."
Do self breast exams. The National Breast Cancer Foundation encourages women to practice a breast self-exam once a month. Self-exams help you to familiarize yourself with how your breasts look and feel so you can be aware of any changes right away. "Common signs and symptoms include a palpable breast mass, skin changes of the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple, and any skin ulceration of the breast," Griffin says.
Know your family history. A strong family history of having breast cancer in some cases can be linked back to an abnormal gene that can play a role in developing breast cancer. "Knowing and maintaining a record of your family history of breast cancer may help your primary care provider and specialists when ordering screening tests and considering treatment options," Griffin notes. What does this mean? The closer that breast cancer strikes, the higher your personal risk rises. If your sister, mother, or daughter have has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it doubles your risk. If you have more than two first-degree relatives diagnosed, your risk goes up by five times higher than average. Other close relatives who have had or have breast cancer will also increase your risk.
Chip in for a Cause
Buffalo Wings & Rings is proud to present their third annual Chip in for the Cause campaign to raise awareness and work toward eliminating breast cancer. One dollar for each order of the Sam Adams Beer Cheese & Pink Chips will be donated. Additionally, all proceeds from our limited edition, survivor-designed Chip in for the Cause t-shirt will be donated to breast cancer research to further the mission of finding a cure. It's time to chip in—go pink for the cause and rally around their next round of giving.