Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Symptoms, Risks, Getting Involved  

One of the most common cancers among women is breast cancer, and many go months without knowing they have the disease. According to the Office on Women’s Health, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer, and more than 40,000 women die from the disease each year in the United States. Alongside women, there are about 2,000 men each year with breast cancer. Throughout October, help spread awareness by sharing the below resources.   

Symptoms of breast cancer:  

  • New lump in the breast or underarm 
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast 
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin  
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area 
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood 
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast 
  • Pain in any area of the breast. 

Risk factors you can change:  

  • Become more physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of obtaining breast cancer.   
  • Some forms of hormone replacement therapy (those that include both estrogen and progesterone) taken during menopause can raise the risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years.  
  • Certain oral contraceptives (birth control pills) also have been found to increase breast cancer risk.  
  • Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can increase breast cancer risk.  
  • Alcohol consumption. Studies show that a woman increases her risk of breast cancer the more alcohol she drinks.  

How you can get involved:  

  • Share your breast cancer story 
  • Host an in-person or virtual fundraiser 
  • Donate to an organization or nonprofit that supports breast cancer  
  • WEAR PINK to show you support those facing breast cancer  

Read more about breast cancer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Breast cancer has impacted numerous lives. Show your support and get involved this October.