National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Detecting Breast Cancer Early

Each October, we wear pink to show our support for breast cancer awareness. This empowering campaign helps to shed light and bring awareness to this disease that affects one in eight women. Each year, an estimated 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in women in the U.S., according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death as well.

There is no known cause for breast cancer, although women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. Some risk factors, such as drinking alcohol, can be avoided. But most risk factors, like having a family history of breast cancer, can’t be avoided. There is much that we know and much that we have yet to understand. However, we do know that cancer spreads in three important ways: 1.) Damaged cells replicate, creating more damaged cells and tumor growth. 2.) The body’s hormones and chemicals can accelerate the growth of some tumors. 3.) Lymph and blood vessels can carry the cancer to other areas of the body.

Breast cancer can’t be prevented, but you can take important steps to help detect it earlier, increasing your risk of finding it before it spreads. Regular breast cancer screenings are crucial for early detection and treatment. This October, Dr. Jeffrey Sterling hopes you’ll encourage the women you love, especially yourself, ladies, to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist for a routine examination.