October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s the time of year when city buildings turn their top lights pink; when fountains are dyed so they bubble pink foam; when football players don pink gloves and cleats every Sunday.
And this year, the Crossroads Hospice team, known for our distinctive green gear, will go pink to join in raising awareness about breast cancer.
This month is about so much more than wearing pink or pinning a pink ribbon to your coat. It’s about raising awareness about a disease that has some sobering statistics, like the fact that one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Or that, according the American Cancer Society, over 39,000 women are expected to die from breast cancer this year. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
While most people are aware of breast cancer, many still neglect to take the steps to catch breast cancer in the early stages.
When breast cancer is found early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98 percent.
While you can't prevent breast cancer, you can be aware of the ways to catch it in the localized stage. Here are three steps to reduce your risk:
- Annual mammogram - These should start at age 40. Women under 40 with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors should speak to their doctor about the best time to begin annual mammograms.
- Clinical breast exam - A clinical exam should performed by a trained medical professional at least every three years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40.
- Breast self exam - Performed monthly, self exams can detect changes quickly. 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump and report it to their doctor.
If you haven’t been following these steps, now is the time to put an early detection plan in place. Here at Crossroads, we’re proud to be In the Pink this month in the fight against breast cancer. To learn more about Crossroads Hospice, please call 888-564-3405.
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