October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What You Should Know About Breast Cancer

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include:
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast;
  • Pain in any area of the breast; and
  • A new lump in the breast or underarm.

If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.

Some main factors that affect your chance of getting breast cancer include:
  • Being a woman;
  • Being older (50 years or older); and
  • Having changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

You can do things to help lower your breast cancer risk:
  • Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • If you are taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, ask your doctor about the risks.
  • Breastfeed your children, if possible.


Useful links:

  1. https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/StateEmployee/BeWell/Documents/October2021/BreastCancer.pdf
  2. https://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/health-topics/cancer/breast-cancer
  3. https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/StateEmployee/BeWell/Documents/October2021/Breast%20Cancer%20Preventive%20Care%20Member%20Flyer%20-%20(October%202018).pdf
  4. https://www.humana.com/prevention-and-care/managing-conditions/cancer/breast-cancer-risk