October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means that many women are looking into ways to protect their breast health. Many women over the age of 40 receive an annual mammogram to check for cancer, but breast cancer can progress quickly, so once a year may not be enough. All adult women, regardless of age, should perform a self-exam once per month.
Breast cancer can progress quickly, so while an annual mammogram can detect cancer, it is sometimes beyond stage one or two by the time you get your scan. Checking for changes in your breasts each month can help you detect breast cancer early, giving you a greater chance of survival. The sooner cancer is detected, the sooner it can be treated, and the greater your chances of recovering quickly.
Encourages Bodily Awareness
One of the best things you can do for your health is to listen to your body. Checking for changes in your breasts each month makes you more aware of your body, which can help you notice other changes in your body as well.
You Should Still Get Screenings
A mammogram can detect cancer before you find a lump, so you should still be getting them on a regular basis. Self-exams tell you what is normal for you, so if you detect changes between exams, you can alert your doctor.