Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness is very important because breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second most common cancer worldwide. Although it's not the main cause of death in women, it is the most feared disease. Below is information to increase your breast cancer awareness. The subject is very dear to me after seeing my sister-law defeated by the disease. She didn't have the benefit of early detection.


  • family history of breast cancer
  • personal history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes - for more on this refer to
  • prior history of non-cancerous tumors
  • first period before age 12
  • first child born after age 30
  • menopause begin after age 56


  • having no children
  • consuming more than one alcoholic drink each day
  • being overweight
  • taking birth control pills for 5 or more years causes a slight increase in the risk
  • using hormone replacement therapy for 10 years or more


  • eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables per day
  • avoid fatty foods
  • add whole grain cereal & calcuim to your diet
  • get regular exercise
  • avoid smoking & consume alcohol in moderation


    In your 20s & 30s
  • check with your doctor to determine your examination schedule
  • self-examination every month
  • clinical examination every 3 years
    In your 40s & up
  • check with doctor to determine your examination schedule
  • self examinations every month
  • clinical examinations every year
  • mammograms every 1 to 2 years or greater frequency if high risk


    Self Exams
  • self exams every month
  • check every area of the breast including the underarm, the nipples, and the area above and below the breasts
  • notify doctor if you notice any changes

  • important for diagnosing breast cancer early even before symptoms appear
  • use a FDA approved mammogram facility

Help With Cost of Mammograms

  • Medicare, Medicaid and most private health plans cover costs or a portion of the cost
  • Call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 for information about facilities in your area that offer low cost mammograms.
  • The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provide free or low cost breast cancer early detection testing to women without health insurance. You can find more out about this program by contacting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 1-888-842-6355 or on the internet at

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