1. One in eight. That’s the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life, making it the second most common cancer among women, after skin cancer.
2. Breast self-exams could help save your life. Don’t be afraid to examine yourself; you know your body better than any doctor does. What self-checks do is allow women to understand what’s normal for them. If you feel something’s off, immediately bring it to your doctor’s attention.
3. Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam by a health care provider every three years, especially if they are from a high risk family. After age 40, women should have a clinical breast exam every year, or more frequently if there is a strong family history of breast cancer.
4. If you have a history of cancer in your family, do a blood test to check for the BRCA genes (the ‘cancer gene’ that runs in families).
5. All breast cancers are not the same. It is not the size of a tumor that determines the aggressiveness of breast cancer but rather the tumor biology and micro environment (the normal cells and molecules that surround cancer cells).
6. Get moving. We all know exercise is good for us. Women who exercise and have an active lifestyle may lower their risk of developing breast cancer. Small amounts of regular exercise, such as regularly going on short runs or brisk walks can potentially lower a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer by nearly 40 percent. So get out there and get moving!