More Than Mammograms | NYC Health + Hospitals

More Than Mammograms

Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

What is breast cancer? Breast cancer is cancer that occurs in the cells of the breast. It is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, after skin cancer. Breast cancer can occur in men, but it is very rare.

Every woman between 50 and 74 should get a mammogram every other year, but living a healthy life from an early age can help reduce your chances of getting breast cancer. Here is a list of good habits to develop and questions to ask your doctor.

  • Watch your weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop Smoking
  • Limit alcohol use, no more than one drink per day
  • Ask your doctor about the risks of taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.
  • Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans.
  • Breastfeed your children.

Some warning signs of breast cancer should be checked by your doctor.

Symptoms can include:

  • A new lump in the breast or underarm.
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple.
  • Pain in the breast.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women aged 50 to 74 years old have a mammogram every two years. Women 40 to 49 and over 74 should talk to their doctor and decide whether to have screening.

Content provided by Dr. Dave Chokshi, Chief Population Health Officer of OneCity Health and an internist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

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