October is breast cancer awareness month.

Although October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to keep breast health in mind 365 days a year.

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissue of the breast, damaging cells both in and surrounding the area. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide.

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women
  • It is estimated that over 220,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer

There are some steps women can take to remain vigilant of their health status and possibly prevent this form of cancer. The most common prevention method is performing a breast self exam. By looking for any changes in the breast tissue once a month such as in size, feeling of lumps or inversion of the nipples, early detection can be accomplished. Although eight of 10 lumps are usually benign, any lump should be screened by a doctor right away to ensure it isn’t cancer.

Another easy to remember tip for breast health is knowing exactly what yours look like. This may seem silly, but take a few minutes each time you shower to look at the breasts. Knowing how they appear on a normal basis can help viewers determine if there has been any change.

Is Family History a Reliable Predictor of Breast Cancer?

Although known cases of breast cancer in family history can be an indicator that breast cancer may occur in the future, only 10 percent of those who are diagnosed have a family history of the disease. It’s important to complete regular monthly screenings as well as visit a doctor to perform a mammogram in order to keep an eye on overall health.

For Breast Cancer Surviors

If you are a survivor of breast cancer, the appearance of your breasts has most likely changed since your recovery began. During radiation and other forms of treatment, the breasts can change drastically, taking a toll on the body and overall self-confidence.

There is hope though for some patients. After finishing treatment, there is the ability to regain some appearance of the breasts through a breast augmentation procedure. Although plastic surgery is often associated with changes such as implants or enhancing an area, it can also be used to change a patient’s life in other ways.

A breast augmentation can be completed to reconstruct the breasts following a mastectomy or other related procedures. If you are a breast cancer survivor and would like to learn more about this procedure, schedule a consultation.