National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which begins in October, aims to raise awareness and increase knowledge surrounding breast cancer, the second-most common cause of death in women. Increased awareness and subsequent funding has allowed for tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease and lowered mortality rates as a result. 

In hopes of helping to continue this trend, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about breast cancer awareness through relevant statistics, prevention, and resources. 

Breast cancer: Facts & Symptoms 

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer at some time in her life? 

Breast cancer the result of malignant cells that start in the breast tissue. If diagnosed early, treatment has a much better chance of being successful. In addition to receiving regular mammograms and performing self-exams, early diagnosis is incredibly important in order to successfully treat the disease. 

The following symptoms can signal breast cancer and should be brought to the attention of your primary care provider: 

  • A breast lump or areas where the tissue feels thicker than its surroundings 
  • Change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast 
  • A newly-inverted nipple 
  • Redness, pitting, or the formation of dimples on the breast skin 

What steps can be taken to avoid breast cancer? 

While the exact cause of breast cancer isn’t known, there are steps that can be taken to reduce its likelihood: 

  • Schedule and attend regular breast screenings 
  • Perform regular self-exams at home 
  • Maintain a healthy diet 
  • Reduce alcohol consumption 
  • Exercise regularly 

What resources are available? 

In addition to your primary care provider, the National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a variety of resources including treatment options, preventive care, and support. 

The Susan G. Koman Foundation has also provided an exhaustive list of resources for people with breast cancer.