October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers? Although uncommon, men are also at risk for breast cancer and should also take the appropriate precautions and screening measures.
Some facts from The National Breast Cancer Foundation you may not have known:
- 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime
- It is estimated that 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2022 in women in the US
- It is estimated that 43,550 women will die from breast cancer in the US this year
- It is estimated that 2,710 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US and approximately 530 men will die from breast cancer in 2022
- There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US
- On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US
The good news is … since around 1990 death rates from breast cancer have been declining. This is due to changes in modern medicine and prescriptions, improving treatment options, and better screening and early detection. This brings us to our next point of focus … WHAT YOU CAN DO!
According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%.
Be In The Know!
- Learn the signs and symptoms of breast cancer
- Monthly Self Exams
- According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.
- Go to your doctor
- They will do a clinical breast exam
- They will also tell you when you need to get a mammogram
Other Ways to Reduce Your Risk
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Stay active
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
How Physical Therapy Can Help
We can help guide you through a safe and effective exercise program, keeping in mind any other health issues or injuries that you may have, so that you can be successful in maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
After Breast Surgery
- Acute care physical therapy will help you immediately after surgery
- Outpatient physical therapy can
- help you gain range of motion and strength back in your arms and neck after breast surgery and/or reconstruction surgery
- help with pain management
- help improve overall posture
- help with scar tissue massage and mobilization
- Lymphedema specialists can help with any arm swelling
Improving Bone Health"Breast cancer survivors had a 68 percent higher risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia compared with cancer-free women in a Breast Cancer Research study.”
- Improve balance to reduce fall risk and resultant fractures
- Improve posture to reduce the risk of compression fractures in your spine
- Strength training to improve bone health and joint protection
- Weight-bearing exercises/activities to promote bone growth and reduce bone breakdown
- Education on things such as
- Improving body mechanics with household chores and yard work
- Slowly progressing into an exercise program
- Avoiding high impact exercises like running or jumping if you have low bone density; moderate intensity impact exercises are still okay
- Avoiding exercises that have a higher fall risk