Oct 6, 2017 by Glenn Savage
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In America, breast cancer impacts one out of eight women and accounts for 30 percent of all cancers in women. Thankfully, today, with early intervention it is also highly treatable. In fact, there are over three million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.
While there are no ways to completely avoid breast cancer, there are many ways to reduce one's risk of contracting it. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Comfort Keepers is honored to share a few tips on reducing breast cancer risks and seeking early screening.
One of the great dangers of breast cancer is that it usually does not have many outward signs or symptoms. In fact, most people with breast cancer do not even know they have it until it is found during a screening or test. Therefore, it is important to understand the risks of breast cancer, work on reducing those risks, and ensure effective screening is taking place.
The primary risk of breast cancer is having a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. A first-degree relative is somebody like a mother, father, brother, or sister, and this connection increases an individual's risk by 200 percent. While this risk cannot be reduced, it should act as a warning to ensure other risk factors are taken even more seriously and that screenings are not missed.
Seniors who smoke also have an increased risk of breast cancer. Worse, even second-hand smoke has been linked to an increased risk. Seniors who are already high on the risk chart should seriously consider a smoking cessation program and find ways to avoid second-hand smoke.
For many seniors, breast cancer is not their only concern. Tens of millions of Americans require daily living assistance for long-term medical, emotional, or psychological issues. When family caregivers need a break, Comfort Keepers provides respite care. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, respite care providers should not only encourage seniors to reduce breast cancer risks, but they should remind family members about monthly and annual screenings.
From the time a woman reaches puberty, she should conduct monthly breast self-examinations. After menopause, mammograms should be conducted every year to two years. For those with high risk, an annual exam should not be missed.
For more information about breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or Comfort Keepers respite care services, contact a senior care coordinator today.
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