October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a well-publicized annual campaign to increase awareness of this disease. The campaign has been successful in raising awareness, however too often women don’t make time to take the needed steps to detect the disease in its early stages, when it is most treatable.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, second only to skin cancers. Statistics show that one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Today, one in 36 will die from the disease.
The good news is that breast cancer incidence rates and deaths have, for most part, been on the decline for more than 20 years, with decreases attributed to increased awareness, regular mammograms and better treatment options. In recent years, however, incidence rates have been stable in white women, but have increased slightly in African American women.
The best defense
As with any cancer, early detection can save your life. Here are guidelines from the American Cancer Society to help women fight back against breast cancer:
- Age 40-44, you should have the choice to begin yearly mammograms
- Age 45 to 54, you should have a mammogram every year
- Age 55 and older, you can switch to a mammogram every two years or continue with an annual screening
- Screening should continue as long as you are in good health and expected to live 10 more years or longer
- Be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening
- Know how your breasts normally look and feel, and report any breast changes to your healthcare provider right away
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. Talk with your primary care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.
The American Cancer Society provides a wealth of online information to help you be proactive against breast cancer. (link to http://www.cancer.org/healthy/morewaysacshelpsyoustaywell/breastcancer)
How Healics can help
At Healics, our certified health coaches work with thousands of women every year to develop plans to reduce their health risks, including providing information, resources and guidance on preventive breast health. Women don’t always make time for their own personal health needs. A trusted coach can offer the encouragement needed to save a life.
Whether you are a company of two or 10,000, Healics can work with you develop a coaching program that helps your employees set and achieve critical wellness goals, including motivating women to develop and consistently follow-through on a breast health plan. We’re nurse-owned and -operated, and will partner with you to create a wellness culture that helps to lower insurance claims, reduce health premiums — and most importantly — allows your employees to lead healthier, happier lives.
Want to give your employees the benefit of better health? Call us at 1-800-HEALICS today or contact us now.