October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and across America, advocates are focusing on the importance of performing breast cancer exams towards detecting breast cancer.
Here are some things to remember: perform breast self-exams once a month, while in the shower, while getting ready for bed. Women are enjoined to be familiar with their breasts, and to look for lumps, and changes in size, shape or feel; one should also observe whether there are any fluids or discharges.
Jennie Yoon Buchanan, medical director of Women’s Imaging Services at Florida Hospitals, shared: “I encourage all of you to become an expert about the way your breasts look and feel so you can detect any subtle changes. After all, it’s our body, and we are the ones who have to live with whatever goes wrong with it.”
It is recommended that women in their 20s should see a doctor and undergo a clinical breast exam every three years. When they turn 40, it is recommended that the frequency of exams be changed to once a year; women 40 years old and older are also advised to undergo annual mammograms.
Kristina Thomson, interim executive vice president for the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey, shared: “Many breast cancers will be found in women who never felt a lump, because on average, mammography will detect about 80 to 90 percent of the breast cancers in women without symptoms.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to spread knowledge and awareness about the disease, as well as raise money towards finding a cure.