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Breast Cancer Awareness

Did you know breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women? In fact, it is estimated 1 in 8 will develop invasive breast cancer within their lifetime.

Hot Springs, Ark. – Did you know breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women?  In fact, it is estimated 1 in 8 will develop invasive breast cancer within their lifetime.  Although having a mother, sister or daughter who has been diagnosed doubles a person’s risk, 85% of all breast cancers do not stem from a family history of this disease.  While the chances are lower, men can also develop breast cancer.  Here are some risk factors that increase a person’s chance.

  • Being a woman is the biggest risk factor.
  • Risk increases as we age.  Two out of three invasive breast cancers are in women 55 or older.
  • Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages a day increases risk 1 ½ times those who do not consume alcohol.
  • Smoking increases risk, especially in younger, premenopausal women.
  • Being overweight and obesity increase a person’s risk compared to those who maintain a healthy weight.
  • Having dense breast tissue.

Although not all breast cancers are linked to a risk factor, the American Cancer Society recommends choosing healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. The American Cancer Society also recommends regular breast exams and mammograms to better the chance of finding breast cancer early when it is most likely to be curable.  Women age 40 and above should have yearly mammograms, and women in their 20s and 30s should have one every three years.  Although mammograms have increased the number of breast cancers found, there are still some signs and symptoms a person should look out for.

  • A new lump or mass
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Swelling of all or part of the breast
  • Nipple retraction and/or discharge
  • Redness, scaling or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

Monthly self-breast exams can help detect any of the above, but keep in mind that some breast cancers do not have any signs or symptoms at all underlining the importance of having a mammogram.  Breast cancer can also spread to the lymph nodes under the arm before the original tumor in the breast tissue can be felt. Be sure to report any swollen lymph nodes to your doctor.   The above symptoms do not mean you have breast cancer.  They can be a sign of a non-cancerous condition, so have them evaluated to find the cause.

 Breast cancer can be life-threatening. Be proactive against breast cancer by living a healthy lifestyle and lowering the risk factors you can control.  For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, or visit www.breastcancer.org or www.cancer.org

 EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

 4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu  

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu

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  • The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

    The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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