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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

10/02/13

  03:42:53 pm, by kthran   , 316 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Ribbon

It is not precisely clear what causes breast cancer. Research has suggested age, gender and estrogen exposure may contribute. While anyone can get the disease, older women are at a greater risk.

Non-invasive (stage 0) and early stage (I and II) breast cancers have a better prognosis than cancer in its later stages (III and IV), and can typically get treated at a much lower cost – sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars less. Screening is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, and the most effective method is an X-ray of the breast called a mammogram. Visit your gynecologist regularly and have an open discussion about what tests you should be having.

One key to proper prevention – and, in turn, keeping your health care costs down – is knowing when your next test is due. That’s where MedBen Worksite Wellness can help.

MedBen Worksite Wellness plan members can track their mammogram compliance by visiting MedBen Access. To see recommended screening dates, or double-check if you missed a test, simply go to medben.com, click on “MedBen Access” and select the “iHealth Information” link under “My Plan”. MedBen Worksite Wellness also provides annual guidelines for cancer prevention and early detection, personalized for age and gender.

Ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk:

Be proactive. As with any cancer, you can reduce your risk by making smart lifestyle choices:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol.

Get screened. The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and up have a screening mammogram every year. If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about earlier screenings.

Take your medicine. Should you have an increased potential for developing breast cancer, medications like tamoxifen and raloxifene may reduce the risk. However, these drugs carry possible side effects, so talk to your doctor about their benefits and risks.

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