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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States among people who were born female, after skin cancers. About one in eight women will have breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer, Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer compared to white women. Men can also get breast cancer, though it is rare: the lifetime risk is one in 833.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is currently updating its recommendations for breast cancer screening. The draft recommendation states that all women should get screened for breast cancer every other year starting at age 40. Previously, the recommendation was to start screening at age 50. Screening is commonly done with digital mammography, or mammogram. There is insufficient evidence to recommend supplemental screening, such as ultrasound or MRI, in women with dense breasts and a negative screening mammogram.

There are risk factors for breast cancer that people cannot change – such as being born female and getting older – but there are some things people can do to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and not drinking alcohol, or drinking in moderation, are factors we can control. Breastfeeding, especially for a year or more, also reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Please share this article and our Breast Cancer Awareness Resources & Toolkit (ZIP), with your groups, so they can promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month among their employees.

Breast Cancer Awareness Resources & Toolkit (ZIP)


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