Health Tips Tuesday: Breast Cancer Awareness Month | News
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Western Mass News reporter Jordan McCool spoke with Dr. Grace Makari-Judson, the associate medical director of cancer services with Baystate Health, about the importance of this month and early detection.
What are common risk factors of developing breast cancer?
Makari-Judson: “First, being a female, 99 out of 100 cases of breast cancer are in women. Family history is important, age of course, like other cancers. Breast cancer risk increases with advancing age, hormonal factors are important. Lifestyle factors can play a part too: alcohol, smoking, weight gain after menopause, and the amount a women exercises.”
What can people do to lower their chance of getting breast cancer?
Makari-Judson: “Some of the things are unavoidable. You can’t change your family history, but you can know your family history and have a personalized plan. The lifestyle factors you should focus on. Exercise at any age can lowers the risk, don’t smoke, minimize alcohol, and avoid weight gain, especially after mesopause…Knowing your breast density can help as well.
Why is it important to get a mammogram?
Makari-Judson: “Mammogram help to identify when there the tumor is smaller and this may reduce the need for more extensive treatments. Women who do this reduce the risk of death by 60 percent.