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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Big or small, round or flat, perky or not so perky; we all have different feelings about our breasts. But breasts - however you regard them - are AMAZING and we ought to give them their due.

So since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what better time is there to pay respect and tend to the health of your own special pair.


Facts first: 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) breast cancer in the United States is—

  • The most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.

  • The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.

  • The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

  • It’s also important to note that anyone can get breast cancer regardless of their gender; we all have breast tissue

This is why even though great strides have been made in the field of breast cancer research, it’s still so important that it still poses an enormous risk to your health.


So what can you do to keep your breasts healthy?

  • Stay at a healthy weight.

  • Make exercising a part of your life.

  • Don’t smoke cigarettes.

  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

  • Avoid chemicals that are linked to cancer. Some chemicals and harmful things around you in your daily life can affect your breasts. This includes some foods, makeup, plastics, and household products. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.

  • If possible and if you have a newborn, breastfeed your baby.

  • Make sure you are regularly receiving a breast exam


Getting regular breast cancer screenings is one of the most important things you can do to keep your breasts healthy. It’s important to talk to your Planned Parenthood doctor or nurse about breast cancer screenings. Though breast screenings can’t prevent cancer, they can help to find cancer earlier, when they are easier to treat.

  • Get a breast exam every 1 to 3 years in your 20s and 30s and then every year after you turn 40.

  • Get a mammogram every year after you turn 40.

But even on your own you can and should get to know what your breasts feel like and let your doctor or nurse know if you find a lump or notice any other changes.


What’s a Mammogram exactly?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that helps detect breast cancer early. It can find lumps that are too small to be felt during a clinical breast exam.

If you’ve had breast or ovarian cancer or have a relative who’s had it, you might be at a higher risk. 

Talk to your Planned Parenthood practitioner to find out how often you should have breast exams and mammograms. They may also recommend you get genetic counseling, which means meeting with someone who has special training to figure out your risk of getting breast cancer.

Don’t wait, make an appointment today and show your breasts a little love!

Tags: breast exam, cancer, wellness, breasts, breast, self breast exam, awareness