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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The survival rate of women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer has been slowly increasing since 1990, there still is a new breast cancer diagnosis every two minutes.

Last year, an estimated 232,620 women and men were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to breastcancer.org.  While the survival rate has been increasing since 1990, there still is a new breast cancer diagnosis every two minutes.  It still is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women.  Therefore, everyone should understand the importance of breast cancer awareness and precautions you can take to lower your risk.

Annual screenings:

 Mammography is the most effective type of breast cancer screening today.  Mammograms use a low-dose x-ray system to examine the breasts, aiding in early detection and diagnosis of cancer in women.  RadiologyInfo.com details what to expect and how to prepare for a mammogram. 

Clinical breast exams are physical examinations done by health care professionals as part of regular checkups.  To understand why they are done and how to prepare, visit webMD.

Additionally, here is a list of questions to ask your provider and better understand the screening process.

While there are no annual screenings for men, the American Cancer Society details the importance of awareness and testing for those men who may be at high risk.

Physical activity:

Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce breast cancer risk.  According to a recent American Cancer Society study, women who gain more than 70 pounds during adulthood double their chances of getting breast cancer.  This is because extra pounds increase estrogen production, which may fuel cancer growth.  However, Ladies’ Home Journal cites that weight alone does not make one woman more susceptible to breast cancer than another.

Eating healthy:

Foods that contain monounsaturated fats, such as olive and canola oils, have been proven to help lower breast cancer risk by about 45% for every 10 grams consumed.  Additionally, soy-rich diets have similar studied effects.  This is because soy reacts with estrogen receptors and reduces the estrogen production that may lead to cancer growth.  Flaxseed, in oatmeal and crackers, also promotes breast health.

In addition to taking these precautions, it is important to research your family history.  About 5 to 10% of breast cancer cases are deemed hereditary.  This means there is a gene mutation in the family likely to cause breast cancer.  If you may be at risk, talk with your doctor about genetic testing.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance cares about raising breast cancer awareness and finding a cure, especially during October.  For every new “page like” on the company’s Facebook page from now to October 31, Vargas & Vargas Insurance will donate $1 toward breast cancer research.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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