by Anna Schoenbrunner, GLIDE Health Services Americorps Vista
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to share with you some news and information about a disease that accounts for 1 in 3 new cancer diagnoses in women, but is not limited to women. In fact, in 2011 it estimated that there will be 2,140 new cases of breast cancer in males. Given that this disease affects so many people, it is important to know the risks and symptoms of breast cancer as well as preventive strategies. (*Information has been adapted from the Susan G Komen Foundation.)
The highest risk factors of breast cancer include:
- Age (older people are more likely to develop the disease)
- Gender (females are at higher risk)
- Testing BRCA 1 or 2 positive (this is a genetic mutation that can be tested for if there is a long standing family history of breast or ovarian cancer)
- Personal/Family History (especially if more than one immediate family member has had breast cancer)
- High breast density
Risk Reduction can be achieved! Know your risk. Talk you your health care provider about your personal risk factors. Get screened. Have a mammogram once a year after age 40 if you are at moderate risk. Monitor your breast health. See your health care provider if you notice any changes. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat well, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and limit alcohol consumption.
GLIDE Health Services offers health care services to help monitor breast health. This includes breast exams as well as mammogram referrals. In addition, we offer Wellness Center Walking Classes to help you exercise, and a Meals Program to help you maintain a balanced diet.
If you have questions, or would like to schedule an appointment for a breast exam, please contact GLIDE Health Services at 415-674-6140.