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posted on October 07, 2009 15:51

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in every eight women will have breast cancer during their lifetime.
While you can’t prevent breast cancer you can take steps to find it at its earliest possible time, beginning with yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams by a health care provider.
The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as you are in good health. Mammograms are safe and effective. For women over 50, keeping up with yearly mammograms can lower your risk of dying from cancer by 35%. Mammogram centers and screening facilities throughout the state of Idaho can be found on the Operation Pink Bag website.
Clinical breast exams should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any change promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exam is an option for women starting in their 20s.
Other ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer include:
  • Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day
  • Healthy eating – fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Managing your weight – weight gain after menopause increases your risk
  • Quit Smoking – call the QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the QuitNet at
There is help for low income women to receive screening and medical services through Idaho’s Women’s Health Check program. For more information or to see if you are eligible, please visit their website at