October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Every October, as the leaves begin to change and the air gets cooler, we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 1985, this month has been meant to educate the public and promote the screening and prevention of breast cancer, the most common cancer in women in the United States. 

Each year, breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the U.S. Chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by breast cancer. As you begin to see the pink ribbons and t-shirts pop up, and the fundraisers and walks marked on the calendar in honor of breast cancer awareness, it’s important to educate yourself on the basics of breast cancer, to help yourself and others become aware of early signs and symptoms. 

When caught early, breast cancer is easier to treat and has a higher survival rate. Making sure you know your family history and risk for breast cancer can help prepare you for the necessary steps to take going forward. If you are between the ages of 40-49 years old, ask your doctor when the right time to get a breast cancer screening or mammogram is. Otherwise, it is recommended that women between the ages of 50 and 74 and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. 

All women should learn the importance of breast self-exams or clinical exams. Getting familiar with how your breasts look and feel and performing regular self-checks can help you catch cancer early. Make sure to learn how to do a self-exam and encourage others to do the same! 

For more resources on breast cancer: 

Basic Information About Breast Cancer | CDC

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by: Kristen Luft, Communications Associate