Breast cancer diagnoses expected to top 276K this year October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month By: Eileen Dawley, RN Chief Nursing Officer
On average, every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
This year alone, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and 2,620 in men
in the United states.
October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is encouraging
women and men to practice early detection and treatment.
Fewer cases of breast cancer are being diagnosed in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your
mammogram was postponed due to the pandemic, reschedule now. You don’t want to delay early detection and a
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common for women in the United States. In fact, the two most
common risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. Most women who are diagnosed with
breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families.
Women ages 50-74 are recommended to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you’re 40-49, talk with your
doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.
The risk of breast cancer has not changed for women, overall, in the last decade, but the risk has increased for black,
Asian and Pacific Islander women. Black women have a higher risk of death from breast cancer than white women,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Risk factors you cannot change include age, genetic mutations, reproductive history, personal medical history and family
There are risk factors you can control. Those include not being physically active, being overweight or obese after
menopause, taking hormones, reproductive history and drinking alcohol. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight, plus
being physically active and following a healthy eating pattern can help reduce breast cancer risk.
Symptoms and signs
Symptoms and signs include: swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt); skin dimpling (sometimes looking
like an orange peel); breast or nipple pain; nipple retraction (turning inward); nipple or breast skin that is red, dry,
flaking or thickened; nipple discharge (other than breast milk); and swollen lymph nodes.
These symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer; however, if you have them, they should be reported
to your health care provider.
Breast cancer is sometimes found after symptoms appear, but many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. This
is why regular breast cancer screening is so important.
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The Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is the local public health agency for Galveston County, Texas.
GCHD provides services and programs that protect the everyday health and well-being of Galveston County.
P.O. Box 939 La Marque, Texas 77568 • (409) 938-7221