According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer became the most common cancer this year, accounting for 12% of all new cancer cases worldwide. In addition, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among American women. However, some men are also at risk for breast cancer.
The main factors that influence your risk of breast cancer include being a woman and getting older. Additional risk factors that are out of your control include genetic mutations, exposure to radiation therapy, your reproductive history, and your family history.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As such, this is the perfect time to refamiliarize yourself with the following warning signs of breast cancer:
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- New lumps in the breast or underarm
- Pain, thickening, or swelling in any area of the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
Screenings can’t prevent cancer, but early detection can make treatment more effective. Women ages 45 to 54 should get a mammogram each year, while women age 55 and older can switch to biennial screening. For more information about breast cancer risk factors, talk to your doctor or visit breastcancer.org.
Breast Cancer Prevention Tips:
Research shows that making these lifestyle changes can help decrease your risk of breast cancer.
- Limiting your alcohol intake
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
This Year’s Flu Season
Influenza season typically runs from October through April, but you can get the flu at any time of the year. The United States experienced a light flu season last year due to the preventive health and safety measures being taken for COVID-19. Health experts warn that since fewer people developed immunity to the previous year’s flu strains, more people could be susceptible to influenza this year.
With emerging variants of coronavirus spreading across the United States and traditional flu season ramping up, it’s crucial to get a flu vaccination. Experts assure that there is no harm in getting a flu shot in addition to a COVID-19 vaccine. On top of getting a flu vaccine, it’s still important to practice good hygiene—such as washing your hands with soap and water, covering coughs or sneezes, and not going to work when you’re sick.