Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Happy October all you spooky gals and ghouls!

October has us all feeling festive with Thanksgiving and Halloween right around the corner, but it is also breast cancer awareness month. A month that hits close to home for me. My mama has been diagnosed, and I have also lost my grandma and aunt to this awful disease. I think it’s crucial to raise awareness about this silent killer to help women across the globe stay healthy. 

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect Canadian women. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that in 2020 27,400 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 5,100 of those women will not survive. Breast cancer in the United states affects 1 in every 8 women. It is clear that this cancer is a common killer and can affect all women, no matter their demographic.

This list made by the Centers for Disease, Control, and Prevention lists some of the hallmark warning signs of breast cancer. If you have or notice any of these signs, please call your health care professional because cancer does not wait around, it works fast. 

  1. Pain in the breasts
  2. Lumps in the breasts or underarms
  3. Thickening or swelling of the breast
  4. Irritation or dimpling of the breast skin
  5. Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  6. Nipple discharge including blood and excluding breast milk
  7. Any change in shape or size of the breast

I also recommend speaking with your doctor and asking them to teach you how to do a breast lump assessment as there is a certain technique. With this knowledge you can regularly check for lumps by yourself in the comfort of your own home. 

These signs do not always mean cancer as there are plenty of other diagnoses that may have these symptoms, but it is always better to be safe than sorry by simply speaking to your doctor as soon as you suspect any of these symptoms. 

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer that in general will aid in your well-being.

  1. Limit alcohol consumption
  2. Eat healthy and nutritious foods
  3. Exercise!!
  4. Do not smoke
  5. Control your weight (being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer)
  6. Breast-feed your child (if you have one)
  7. Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution
  8. Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy 

Remember that genetics, epigenetics, and so much more goes into whether or not you will get develop cancer in your lifetime. There is no sure way to avoid it but you can take small steps to minimize your risk of getting diagnosed by living a healthy lifestyle and making conscious and healthy lifestyle choices.

Stay safe my gals and ghouls!!!! 

Picture from Pixabay