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From the Director's Desk: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the CDC, about 1 of our 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. What’s more, it is estimated that approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer this year. Black women are 2nd behind white women in diagnoses for breast cancer, but more likely to die from the

While there is no one-size-fits-all for the symptoms of breast cancer, some of the most common include:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

Some women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have no signs or symptoms so it is important to talk with your health care provider about your risk and developing a timeline to be screened.

So how does a woman prevent or reduce her risk of developing breast cancer?

Get routine mammograms - A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast and doctors use it to search for early signs of breast cancer. The Arkansas Department of Health’s BreastCare program, UAMS, and other organizations can help with low and no-cost mammograms.  

Know your family history – If you have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, aunt, daughter) who has/had breast cancer, this may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

Get regular, physical activity – Aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Walking, dancing, and biking are all great examples.

Aim for a healthy weight – A diet rich with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein are good choices to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission is always Working Today For A Healthier Tomorrow.