Giuliana Rancic revealed today that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
As many of you already know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years ago (my great aunt also passed away from the disease) and breast cancer awareness and research is very important to me.
One thing Giuliana’s diagnosis reiterated to me was that breast cancer happens to women of all ages. Giuliana is 37 years old and was only diagnosed because a doctor said she needed a mammogram before going though with her third round of in vitro fertilization. She wasn’t even planning on getting her first mammogram until she was 40 (the recommended age).
Giuliana will now undergo surgery and radiation and is expected to be fine, but her diagnosis (and the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month) prompted me to feel the need to spread more awareness about breast cancer through this blog and share some statistics with you guys.
- About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer
- A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer
- About 70 – 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer
- Men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well and account for 1 percent of all diagnoses
(All statistics are from BreastCancer.org.)
So how can you lower your risk?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Get screened for breast cancer regularly. By getting the necessary exams, you can increase your chances of finding out if you have breast cancer before it reaches a later stage.
- Control your weight and exercise.
- Know your family history of breast cancer.
- Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Some women use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms of menopause. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of HRT and find out if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
And you’re never too young to start checking yourself for lumps! My mom found a lump in her breast only from doing a self breast exam and her cancer had already significantly developed from the time she had her annual mammogram a few months prior.
Here is a link to an article detailing how to preform a breast self exam.
Question of the Afternoon
- Has breast cancer affected you or someone close to you?