As breast cancer awareness increases, so does survival rates. Yet there's still plenty of work to do, as compliance rates sit at around 70% and plenty of misconceptions abound concerning breast cancer.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we invite you help spread awareness while putting your health smarts to the test. After all, knowledge is power!
1) Aside from a lump, what other changes might be a sign of breast cancer?
a) thickening or swelling of part of the breast
b) Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
c) Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
d) pain in any area of the breast or nipple
e) all of the above
2) About 1 in ___ U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
3) True or False: Breastfeeding can lower your risk of developing breast cancer
4) ___ percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of it.
5) Mammograms should begin at age _____.
1) E, all of the above. Additionally, nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood, or any change in the size or the shape of the breast should immediately be reported to your provider.
2) A, 8. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, and 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
3) True. Research has found giving birth to more children, being younger at the birth of your first child, and breastfeeding your children are linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. However, rather than having this news jumpstart your family plans, aim instead to maintain a healthy weight, balanced diet and active lifestyle, which are all important, "everyday" ways to lower your risk.
4) C, 85%. While having a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer doubles a woman's risk of developing it, the majority of women with breast cancer have no family history of it.
5) D, depends. Family history, personal medical history and other factors can impact recommendations for starting age and frequency of mammograms. A discussion with your provider can help determine what is best for you.
Statistics prove the impact of increasing awareness, screenings, early detection and treatment improvements, as death rates from breast cancer have been declining for the past 25 years. At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
"So while getting a mammogram or the results from a mammogram may feel scary, it's the 'not knowing' that is our biggest enemy, and that's something we can take action against," said Dr. Joseph Ehle, MD, OB-GYN.