Breast Cancer Awareness Month

While most people are aware that breast cancer  is an issue, many still don’t take the necessary steps to detect the disease in its early stages. Every October, doctors, nurses and organizations use this month to raise awareness for the detection of breast cancer.

Breast cancer awarenessBreast Cancer Facts for 2016

Most people in the Boca Raton area know a friend or family member who has been impacted by breast cancer. The following stats show how much of a widespread issue it is:

  • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • 246,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year.
  • As of this year, there are more than 2.8 million women who have had, or are being treated for, breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates

The five year survival rate of those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer depends greatly on which stage of cancer they have.

  • Localized. If the cancer cells have not spread outside of the breast tissue, 99% of women live five years or longer.
  • Regionalized. If the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue, 84% of women live five years or longer.
  • Distant (Metastasis). If the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, 26% of women live five years or longer.

Breast Cancer Must Be Detected Early

Be proactive in monitoring changes in your body and scheduling regular gynecologic exams! You are much more likely to detect breast cancer in its early stages if you:

Perform Self Breast Exams

By performing a self breast exam once a month, you’ll be able to notice any new growths or changes in your breast tissue. If you feel any changes, make an appointment with your doctor.

Learn the proper way to perform a self breast exam.

Schedule Regular Mammograms

Mammograms are diagnostic x-rays of the breast tissue that help doctors see any growths or abnormal tissue in the breast. In most cases, women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a mammogram performed every two years. Women under 50 may need regular mammograms if they fit certain criteria.

Learn more about mammograms

Test for BRCA Gene Mutations

Researchers have discovered two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that are linked to breast cancer. If a mutation is found in either of these genes, that person’s risk of developing breast cancer is greatly increased. Testing for these mutations is only recommended if:

  • You have a family member with a BRCA1/2 gene mutation.
  • You have a family member who developed breast cancer at 50 or younger.
  • You have a family history of ovarian cancer
  • You have a family history of male breast cancer

Learn more about the BRCA1/2 gene mutation 

How to Decrease Your Risk

While you can’t change genetic factors, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk:

  • Limit Alcohol Intake. Even small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of developing breast cancer. It is recommended that you drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.
  • Stop Smoking. Cigarettes contain several cancer-causing toxins. In addition to lowering your risk of breast cancer, it is one of the best things you can do improve your overall health.
  • Lose Weight & Get Active . Obesity increases your risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases. Make an effort to maintain a healthy weight and get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.

Schedule Your Annual Exam

Your annual exam is your best tool to maintain your health. At Women’s Health Partners, we provide comprehensive examinations and assess your risk for breast cancer and other potential health issues. To make an appointment, please call our Boca Raton office at (561) 368-3775 or our Boynton Beach office at (561) 734-5710.

Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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