October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the purpose of this initiative is to spread awareness of this disease. So this month, we are sharing useful information on breast health and what you can do to be proactive with your own health.
Here are some facts about Breast Cancer:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2020, approximately 30% of all new cancer diagnoses for women will be breast cancer.
- 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- There are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 48,530 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
- This year, an estimated 42,170 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.
- Both women and men can get breast cancer. In 2020, an estimated 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S.
Breast Cancer and the Importance of Early Detection
No one knows the exact causes of breast cancer, but what we do know is that breast cancer is caused by damage to a cell’s DNA. There are certain risk factors that can put you at a higher risk of getting breast cancer. Some of these risk factors are lifestyle-based and can be avoided, while other factors such as your genetics and family history cannot. Having a certain set of risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer, as there are many individuals who have risk factors but never develop cancer.
Early detection is especially important if you do develop breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%.
You can help in early detection by performing a monthly breast self-exam to identify any changes in the breasts. Some common abnormalities to look out for are changes in how the breast looks or feels and any discharge—particularly clear or bloody discharge. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact your health provider as soon as possible. You can also schedule regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Reduce Your Risk
Although you cannot prevent cancer, there are some habits that can help to reduce your risk such as maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating fruits and vegetables, refraining from smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
Additionally, screening for breast cancer can help detect potential issues. Mammogram and cancer screening recommendations can vary for women. It’s best to talk to your doctor about screening for breast cancer.
Your Liberty HealthShare Membership and Mammograms
We want you to live a full and healthy life, and getting preventative care and incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine can help. For many of you, this routine care may include mammograms for breast health.
According to our current Sharing Guidelines, for members up to and including age 49, screening mammograms are eligible for sharing once every two years and for members 50 and older screening mammograms are eligible for sharing every year. If you are wondering how this guideline applies to your chosen program, please give us a call at 855-585-4237 and one our team members will help you to better understand your membership.
You can always use our cost-savings tool, Healthcare Bluebook, to find a reasonably priced, quality location to receive your screening mammogram. By choosing a cost effective option, not only are you saving your household money, you are also helping to protect your community’s collective SharePower.
Learn more about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness month with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.