By Diane Woolverton

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2010 alone and over 39,000 deaths.

Breast cancer is claiming the lives of too many of our women. We are losing friends, sisters, aunts, and mothers to this disease. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to make sure we are doing everything possible to help prevent breast cancer from invading our lives.

While many risk factors that cause breast cancer can be avoided others cannot. We can help to prevent breast cancer by changing our lifestyle, maintaining healthy eating habits, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking can all help to reduce our risk factors.

Other risk factors can be prolonged use of alcohol, and hormone replacement therapies. Knowing the health history of the females in our family, also known as genetic risks can help determine whether you are at an increased risk for possible breast cancers.

The last two preventative measures we can take are to perform a monthly self-exam on our breasts to detect any palpable lumps. Another is to have a routine mammogram as recommended by our doctor.

To make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your breasts healthy schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at WNY Medical, PC at 4979 Harlem Road in Amherst. Call us at 923-4383. Don’t wait to call. Your health and even your life may depend on it.

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