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Get the facts: Breast Cancer Awareness month

While 88% of Hispanic women say they know how to perform a breast self-examination, less than half (45%) do it on a monthly basis, according to a survey released this month by Procter & Gamble's Latina-focused Orgullosa program.

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While 88% of Hispanic women say they know how to perform a breast self-examination, less than half (45%) do it on a monthly basis, according to a survey released this month by Procter & Gamble’s Latina-focused Orgullosa program.

It’s a scary fact: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But catching cancer early can significantly boost your chances for successful treatment, and since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s a good time to remember that there are preventative steps that women can take.

Hispanic women are less likely than their non-Hispanic white peers to get breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

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Nevertheless, the disease is less frequently discovered in Latinas at the earliest stages. That’s likely due to fewer Hispanic women getting mammograms or following up on abnormalities they might detect themselves, ACS said.

Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow and invade healthy tissue in the body, forming a lump or a mass called a tumor. Each year, over 220,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with it and more than 40,000 will die from it, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).

Regular screenings are extremely important, and mammograms are a key tool doctors have to detect breast cancer. The CDC recommends that women from the age of 50 to 74 years get one every two years. Other cancer groups recommend them annually, starting at age 40.

If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, your doctor may recommend other tests, such as an MRI or ultrasound.

Mammograms are done using a special x-ray machine. While most women find the process uncomfortable, it only lasts for a few moments.

Looking for early warning signs of breast cancer is also important, and monthly self-exams can be helpful. Don’t ignore lumps or unexplained changes in breast appearance or skin texture.

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While 88% of Hispanic women say they know how to perform a breast self-examination, less than half (45%) do it on a monthly basis, according to a survey released this month by Procter & Gamble’s Latina-focused Orgullosa program.

About 53% of Latinas aged 55 to 64 said they do self-exams monthly, and just 37% of Latinas aged 18 to 34 do.

The NBCF offers information on breast self-exams at its website, nationalbreastcancer.org.

If you have questions about breast cancer, talk to your doctor or contact the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Center at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237), which offers services in both English and Spanish.

Additionally, the CDC offers free or low-cost mammograms to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women aged 40 to 64 through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To find out if you qualify and where to get screened in New York, call 1-866-442-2262.


Health – NY Daily News

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