Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinas with studies showing only 38% of Latinas age 40 or older get regular mammograms.
Despite recent increases in screening rates, breast cancer still tends to be diagnosed at a later stage—when treatment options are more limited.
In commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Latina.com urges you to take matters into your own hands and reduce your risk.
Get a mammogram. It's the best way to detect breast cancer. A mammogram can find breast cancer that is too small for you or your doctor to feel.
All women—starting at age 40—should get a mammogram every one to two years. Speak with your doctor about how often you need a mammogram. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you may need to start getting mammograms earlier.
Get a clinical breast exam—a breast exam conducted by your doctor or nurse. S/he will check your breasts and underarms for any lumps, nipple discharge or other changes. The breast exam should be part of a routine check up.
Get to know your breasts. Conduct monthly breast self-exams to check for any changes in your breasts. See your doctor right away if you notice any changes.
For instructions on how to perform your own breast self-exam, visit this interactive and insightful Susan G. Komen for the Cure website:
Make healthy lifestyle choices like maintaining a healthy weight, adding exercise to your routine and limiting your alcohol intake.