Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The greatest risk factor is to be a woman, as one in eight will be diagnosed at some point during their lifetime.  Aging also increases the risk as most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50. Both men and woman that have a relative with breast cancer, especially a first degree relative, are at a higher risk of the disease. For men and women having a relative with ovarian cancer, there is an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Although having a family history of breast cancer increases the risks of developing the disease, in 8 out of 10 cases, the patient does not have a family history of breast cancer.

Although woman are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than their male counterparts, the American Cancer Society estimates that 2500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men each year. Since male breast cancer represents about 1% of breast cancer cases, screening is not recommended. Men are therefore, more likely to be diagnosed with late stage cancer which is likely due to a decreased awareness and delayed detection of the disease. Similar to female breast cancer, the incidence increases with age.

Reducing controllable risks as well as early detection are recommended by your physician. There are many ways to engage in healthy living to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet, minimizing extra weight, and engaging in regular exercise are among the most effective.  These healthy choices actually reduce risk factors of other cancers and diseases as well.

Early detection saves lives. THIS IS A FACT. Screening is imperative to detect early disease. Breast cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. Your health care provider will review your health and family history and make recommendations for your screenings. At Premier Health Associates, we believe in preventing disease as well as early detection and intervention. Please take the advice of your physician and have your health screenings done in a timely manner.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We encourage you to think about those folks that have had to fight the disease and those that may have lost their life to it. In honor of those people, make a donation, participate in a walk and definitely take control of your well-being by following thru on recommended health screenings.

You can always be assured, your trusted Premier Health providers are here to answer your questions or address any health care concerns. We encourage you to contact us should you need our assistance.