by Monique Fontenot
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
10/13/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- October
is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the
most common cancer among women. In 2012, 224,147 women and 2,125 men
were diagnosed with breast cancer. Combined, more than ten percent of
women and men died of the disease. Awareness and prevention are the
best deterrents. Here are some awareness and prevention tips to keep you
1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends performing
regular breast self-examinations. BSEs can bring awareness to the
changes in breast size or shape and pain, all of which are symptoms of
2. The World Health Organization urges to make healthy choices including
keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly and getting enough
sleep. Maintaining a healthy weight has contributed to lower risk of
cancer, particularly breast cancer.
3. The National Cancer Institute requests, if possible, new mothers
should opt to breastfeed. Mothers who breastfed exhibit lower incidence
of breast cancer than those who did not.
4. The American Cancer Society proposes refraining from excessive
exposure to chemicals, such as carcinogens. Carcinogens can be found in
tobacco products and naturally in the environment e.g., ultraviolet
5. The CDC promotes avoiding consumption of more than one alcoholic
beverage per day. All types of alcohol are carcinogens and the more
quantities consumed, the higher the risk of breast cancer.
6. According to the United States Prevention Services Task Force, women
50 to 74 years old should receive regular mammograms every two years.
Women between 40 and 49 years old should consult their doctor about when
they should begin mammogram screening. In comparison, the American
Cancer Society recommends women 40 years old and older receive
7. The CDC advises reducing exposure to radiation during medical and
dental testing such as CT scans, mammograms and panoramic x-rays. To
accomplish this, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration
advocates the use of personal protective equipment.
8. The International Agency for Research and Cancer encourages you to
discuss with your physician the impact of consuming hormone replacement
therapy or oral contraceptives on your risk of breast cancer.
9. Know your family history. The CDC suggests if you have a family
history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about prescribing
antiestrogen and other medications or preventive surgery, such as a
10. Early detection is the key to prevention