{ WELL BEING }

KEEPING ABREAST

What we can do now about breast cancer

PHOTOS courtesy of SDKomen.org

It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched in some way by breast cancer. In the off-chance that we haven’t had a friend or loved one with the disease or have faced it ourselves, it still surrounds us. The nonprofit organization, Susan G. Komen, reports that each day six San Diego women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one life is lost to the disease.

But these are today’s statistics. We can improve them by focusing on tomorrow. According to Susan G. Komen San Diego, here’s what every woman needs to do.

KNOW YOUR RISK
If you don’t already know your family history, ask family members who do. Talk to your doctor about your personal breast cancer risk. Assess yourself with The National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, available at bcrisktool.cancer.gov.

Get screened
Clinical breast exams are recommended at least every three years for women between 20 and 40 years of age, and every year after that. If you’re at average risk, have a mammogram every year after you turn 40. If you’re at a higher risk, ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you.

Know what is normal for you
Be familiar with your breasts. See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these changes: a lump, hard knot, or thickening; swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening; change in a breast’s size or shape; dimpling or puckering of the skin; itchy, scaly sore rash on the nipple; pulling in of nipple or other parts, sudden nipple discharge; or new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.

Make healthy lifestyle choices
Maintain a healthy weight. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains, fish, and poultry. Eat less red and processed meats. Make exercise a part of your routine. The American Cancer Society advises adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intense activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly—preferably spread throughout the week. And, since research has shown that the more alcohol you drink the higher your risk, limit your alcohol consumption.

Thanks to Susan G. Komen San Diego, the American Cancer Society, and other dedicated cancer organizations, a wealth of educational resources and support is available to San Diego residents. Here at About Town Magazines, we’re passionate about finding a cure for breast cancer and consider it our cause. We urge you to join us as we take care of ourselves, spread the word, and fundraise. Together, let’s stride toward the day when the world—starting with San Diego—is entirely breast cancer–free.

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SAN DIEGO EVENTS TO KNOW

MORE THAN PINK DINNER
Friday, May 29  |  komensandiego.org/dinner

STRIDES WALK
Sunday, October 18
makingstridesagainstbreastcancer.com

RACE FOR THE CURE
Sunday, November 1  |  komensandiego.org/walk

SUSAN G. KOMEN 3-DAY
Friday, November 20–Sunday, November 22
the3day.org

Please check dates which may have changed since publication.