Ask Our Expert: Six Things You Should Know About Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want all of our patients to have the most up-to-date information on breast health and cancer screening. Breast cancer is the second-most common form of cancer in American women, after skin cancer. Your risk for developing breast cancer can vary depending on your risk factors, family history, and genetic predisposition.
Health experts agree, getting screened regularly is important. Early detection and treatment can also help you prevent breast cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your risks and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.
Dr. Wendy Wilcox, NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Officer, says every woman 40 and older should speak with her doctor about her specific risks for developing breast cancer and how frequently she should be screened for breast cancer.
Black women and women of color are usually diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer – making early detection even more important
Dr. Wendy WilcoxNYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Officer
Screenings are easy and generally only take 20 minutes to complete. Don’t procrastinate, schedule an appointment today.
Here are 6 things you should know about breast cancer and ways to reduce your risk.
6 Things to Know About Breast Cancer
- One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and their risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
- Mammograms are the key to early breast cancer detection.
- Approximately 15 percent of American women diagnosed have a family history of breast cancer. Women with a close relative like a grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, or daughter with breast cancer are nearly twice as likely to develop breast cancer themselves.
- When breast cancer is detected before it has spread, 99 percent of people survive at least five years.
- There are over 4 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S., thanks to improved research, detection, and treatment methods.
- NYC Health + Hospitals provides more than 50,000 mammograms every year to patients with high risk factors.
Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors
Ways to Reduce Your Risk
- Get a Mammogram Regularly.
- Know Your Family History.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer, or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, your risks for developing breast cancer may be higher. You can get a test to determine if you have these gene mutations and talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risks.
- Know the Potential Risks Associated with Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Birth Control Pills.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight and Be Physically Active.
- Don’t Drink Alcohol and Don’t Smoke.
Early detection and screening save lives. To schedule your mammogram today, click here or call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692).
For more information about breast cancer and ways to improve breast health, visit:
NYC Health + Hospitals
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York State Department of Health
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Cancer Institute