October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services and the Sussex County Cancer Coalition want to remind you that October is "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." The American Cancer Society started the event in 1985 to increase awareness and education about the importance of breast health and early detection. It has now become a month long, nationwide campaign that has become easily recognizable and symbolized by pink ribbons.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women, second only to skin cancer. According to the most recent statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 91,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,820 women died from breast cancer in 2006. Screening, or checking the breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease, is essential since early detection can increase the chances of surviving the illness. A clinical breast exam and a mammogram by a physician, in addition to monthly self-breast exams are several tests that are used to check for breast cancer.
Some people are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, especially those with a family history of breast cancer. Some other risk factors include being overweight, lack of daily exercise, the use of alcohol, long-term use of hormone replacement therapy and getting older. However, you can help to prevent your risk by getting screened regularly and living a healthy lifestyle. Remember, early detection is key! For more information on breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society's website at www.cancer.org, or the CDC at www.cdc.gov.