October is breast cancer awareness month in the USA
Every month should be though.
In America there will be about 232,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer this year. In Australia the figure is around 15,000.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), accounting for 28.2 per cent of all new cancers in women. The average age of breast cancer diagnosis is 60 years. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. About 24 per cent of new breast cancer cases diagnosed are in women younger than 50 years; 51 per cent in women aged 50–69 years; and 25 per cent in women aged 70 years and over.
The risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 85 was 1 in 8.2. The incidence of breast cancer in Australia is increasing.
So much depends on early diagnosis. It is currently recommended to start breast cancer mammography screening from the age of 50 years.
The decision to start regular screening mammography and breast self examination before the age of 50 years should be an individual one and take your family history, general health and personal values into account. You should be educated by a health practitioner regarding specific benefits and harms of early screening.
Know your breasts, know your risks, be proactive about prevention.