Aero Jet Medical Air Ambulance Authority supports National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign held in October to increase awareness of the disease. Since its inception in 1985, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. But while most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to make a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization. It is estimated that in the United States over 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and more than 40,000 will die.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
As with many other type of cancer, some risk factors that predispose people to developing breast cancer are completely out of the control of the individual. These factors include things such as a family history of cancer, age, race and gender. But there are factors that you do have control over. These include:
- Lack of Physical Activity
- Poor diet, such as a diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables
- Being overweight or obese: Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause.
- Frequent consumption of alcohol: The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk.
- Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30
- Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage.
More information regarding risk factors for breast cancer can be found here.
The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. An Early Detection Plan should include reminders to do monthly breast self-exams, clinical breast exams by your physician, and mammograms based on your age and health history. You can click these links to learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer as well as the basics of performing a breast self-exam.
Studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74, especially for those over age 50. Early detection of breast cancer means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. If you are worried about the cost of a mammogram you should know that they are covered for women over age 40 under the health care reform law.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has a link to their detection plan which can help you to remember to schedule these exams. You can click here to sign up. There are also apps available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Aero Jet Medical Air Ambulance Authority also urges you to share this knowledge with friends and family, and to remind them to also make and follow a breast cancer early detection plan. Calling, reaching out on social media sites such as Facebook, or sending a card are all good ways to let them know that you care.
For more information on the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website