Breast Cancer Awareness Month

women in pinkA well-woman visit to a primary care physician or a gynecologist can give you the opportunity to discuss the importance of and receive guidance on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to minimize health risks.

An annual visit to your PCP or ob-gyn should consist of regular screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunization based on your age and risk factors.  With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to visit your PCP or gynecologist for a well-woman visit, and start the conversation about breast health.

What is Breast Cancer Awareness?

Breast Cancer Awareness is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection of cancer.  While breast cancer can’t be prevented, many women can survive breast cancer if detected and treated early on.

Here are some screening recommendations to better facilitate the conversation with your gynecologist:

  • Women should be offered screening mammography starting around age 40
  • Women at risk of breast cancer should have a mammogram at least annually, or every other year
  • Women who are at risk should continue regular screening to stay informed for overall health and longevity

Ways You Can Reduce Your Risks for Breast Cancer

According to the CDC, some ways you can reduce your risks for breast cancer include:

  • Adopting a more active lifestyle
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Taking hormone pills in moderation
  • Monitoring reproductive history
  • Limiting alcohol intake and quit smoking

Know Your Family History

Another important step of knowing your risks is to know your family history.  Women with a strong history of cancer should take specific steps to protect their health.  You may be at a high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother, grandmother, or sibling who developed breast or ovarian cancer.  Consulting with your physician or gynecologist who specialize in the evaluation and management of women’s bodies and reproductive health.

If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as lumps, or skin changes, consult with your doctor.  Also ask your doctor when’s the appropriate time to begin breast cancer screenings based on personal and family history.

For more information about breast cancer, or if you would like guidance from a provider, please call Synergy Immediate Care at 703-942-5331.

 

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