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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Noelda Lopez

October 19, 2015


Lake County – Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer but early detection can improve their chances.  The Florida Department of Health in Lake County (DOH-Lake) will be joining millions of Americans during the month of October on the fight against this disease.

Mammograms are the best way to detect cancer early. It is recommended that women who are 50-74 years old should have a screenings every two years.  If you are 40 to 49 years old or think you have a high risk consult your doctor when to have a screening mammogram.
As per the Center of Disease Control, some of the risk factors are:

  • Never giving birth, or being older at the birth of your first child
  • Starting menopause at a later age
  • Using hormone replacement therapy for a long time.
  • Getting older
  • A family history of breast cancer.
  • Being overweight, especially after menopause
 However we can help lower the risk by:
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Don’t drink alcohol or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens)
  • Try to reduce your exposure to radiation during medical tests.
  • Breastfeed your babies, if possible.
Research shows that mothers who breastfeed for 12 months reduce their chances of getting breast cancer by 4.3 percent.  Not only that, but if a woman has more than one child these positive effects are cumulative.  For each child breastfeed for the first year of life, the risk is reduced by an additional 7 percent.  
“In my opinion, a successful breast cancer treatment starts with a good screening which not only includes Breasts studies like mammograms or breast Ultrasounds, but also a woman’s self-awareness of her body”  said Dr. Jose Perez, Senior Physician, Florida Department of Health in Lake County.
The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are:
  • About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
  • About 60,290 new cased of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer)
  • About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer

For additional information please visit the Florida Department of Health website at or the CDC at .
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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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