Use Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Educate Yourself, Friends

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 27, 2021

 Dr. Lynn Dado

Dr. Lynn Dado

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Content written and provided by Bloomfield Township resident Dr. Lynn Dado, M.D. Dr. Dado is a Henry Ford internal medicine physician with an office at the Henry Ford Medical Center in Bloomfield Township.

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Good health is a funny thing; we tend to take it for granted until we don’t have it anymore. But it doesn’t have to be that way — you can stay ahead of the curve.  

This month, October, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when pink ribbons are everywhere, offering you tangible reminders about the necessity of routine breast cancer screenings along with the importance of overall breast health.

At Henry Ford, we know that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can strike anyone. In fact, statistics show that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of a lifetime.

Men are not immune to breast cancer, either — a man’s lifetime risk is about 1 in 1,000.

Also, only 5 to 10 percent of cases are hereditary.

But don’t let the statistics scare you. Instead, use them to motivate you into action. Arm yourself with up-to-date information regarding your own breast-health needs. Conduct a breast self-exam each month, noting any lumps, abnormalities or changes. If you have a concern, don’t wait — tell your doctor about it.

Physicians at Henry Ford recommend that average-risk women — without a family history of breast cancer — begin discussions with their doctor at age 40 to determine when they should get a mammogram (a specialized X-ray evaluation of the breasts).

While mammograms cannot and do not spot every cancer, regular mammograms reduce breast cancer mortality by 20 to 30 percent, according to medical statistics.

Also important is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, one that mitigates your chances for developing breast cancer later in life.

Part of this includes making exercise and a healthy diet part of your daily life. The National Cancer Institute statistics show that among postmenopausal women, those who are obese have a 20 to 40 percent increase in risk of developing breast cancer compared with normal-weight women.

While exercise is no cure for cancer, a healthy body is linked to reduced risk. The American Cancer Society recommends adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity every week, ideally spread throughout the week.

And watch your alcohol consumption. Consuming one alcoholic drink per day can increase your chances of getting breast cancer by at least 5 percent, according to the American Cancer Institute.

Henry Ford offers the latest 3-D mammography technology at multiple locations, including Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, our new Bloomfield Township medical center, and at our downtown Royal Oak medical center that is opening later this fall.

Our medical experts understand that each person is unique, and everyone needs individualized, compassionate treatment.

So use this month to spread the word about screening and testing — tell your friends, remind your family members. The good news is that more and more women are surviving breast cancer that’s found and treated early. Let’s keep that trend going.

To schedule your mammogram at Henry Ford, visit henryford.com/mammogram and take advantage of our convenient online scheduling option.

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