Most people associate breast cancer with older women and while that is certainly true younger women should be cautious. Unfortunately there are many instances of younger women developing breast cancer in their 30’s. At this age no-one usually even thinks of performing breast exams. So when is the right time to start watching your breasts?
The rates of breast cancer have dropped significantly since 2000. This was due to the fact that women were made aware of the risks associated with breast cancer. Prior to 2000 many women were using hormone therapy to ease menopause symptoms. A report was published that linked this with an increased risk of breast cancer, women were more cautious about using this therapy and the numbers have since decreased.
Many high schools are now introducing programs for teenagers that make them aware of breast cancer. They are learning what signs to look for as well as being encouraged to raise money for research and tools. By learning these things they are also being taught how to take care of their health and the importance of doing so.
If a young woman has a family of breast cancer then she should begin self breast examinations at the age of 20. If this applies to you your doctor will advise you to go for early mammograms. The average age of a woman’s first mammogram is 50!
By performing early breast examinations you will get to know how your breasts look and feel. This way it will be much easier to detect small changes and seek help. Get into the practice of visiting your doctor whenever you notice a major change in your breasts. Many times this does not single breast cancer and at least you can rule out that possibility.
If you feel you are in the high risk group then visit one of the many breast cancer websites for further information. They will often have a ton of resource links to point you in the right direction. By staying informed you are taking strong action in reducing your risks. Breast awareness programs are doing a wonderful job at saving lives of thousands of men and women around the world.
Remember that children learn good habits from those that they are surrounded by. If you teach your daughters to understand why self breast exams are important they won’t think twice about doing them. It will be as normal as brushing their teeth and visiting the dentist.