October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it's important to take some time to understand some basic facts about this disease.
Effecting one in eight women, the statistics are stacked against us, so it's important to know what to look for. Whether you have a family history, know a friend who's fighting the disease, or just want to be educated, here are a few essential facts to keep in mind:
- There are currently about 3 million women in the U.S. battling the disease.
- Warning signs of breast cancer can vary from woman to woman.
- Certain factors can increase your risk of getting breast cancer, such as obesity, heavy alcohol consumption, two or more first-degree relatives who have had the disease at an early age, certain genetic mutations, and a high intake of red meat.
- Breast cancer rates are highest in Caucasian women, however, death rates are highest among African-American women.
Monitoring your body can allow for early detection of the disease. If you notice any changes, even if you think they're insignificant, make an appointment with your doctor right away. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion, too. It's better to be over-cautious than under-cautious in cases such as these.