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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2009, Woman have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer and a 1 in 35 chance of dying from the disease, in the United States. An estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the United States in 2009. Breast cancer is the second leading cause  of cancer death in the world and the third leading cancer death, in the United States.

Read their survival stories stories!

There are many risk factors associated with breast cancer that may increase the chance of developing the disease. Studies have found many risk factors for breast cancer that include, age, personal history of breast cancer, family history, certain breast changes, gene changes, reproductive and menstrual history, race, radiation therapy to the chest, breast density, taking DES (diethylstilbestrol), being overweight or obese after menopause, lack of physical activity, and drinking alcohol. However, many individuals who are at risk have no signs of the disease or have no family history may still be at risk of developing the disease.

"Early detection and screening are the best way for individuals to lower their risk of dying from the disease. Getting tested regularly can find cancer early and when its most treatable," says Ommar T. Hla, MD, radiation oncologist. "Screening is important because it can help doctors find and treat cancer early. Test typically include screening mammogram, clinical breast exam, and breast self-exam.

Risk factors for breast cancer include age, family history and personal history. Approximately 75 percent of all breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50, while the disease is uncommon in women under the age of 30. The risk of breast cancer is increased for a woman whose mother, sister, or daughter had the disease. Those who have been treated for breast cancer also maintain a higher risk of developing cancer in the other breast later in life.

A doctor's referral is needed for a mammogram. For scheduling or appointments, please contact Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center's Central Scheduling department at (815) 741-7555.


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