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October is breast cancer awareness month. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Getting mammograms on a regular basis can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that if you are aged between 50 and 74 you should go in for mammogram screening every two years.

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What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms vary and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include  change in the size or the shape of the breast, pain, nipple discharge other than breast milk, and a new lump in the breast or underarm. If you notice anything suspect and are worrying about it, see a doctor right away.

How Can I Lower My Risk?

The main factors that influence your risk for breast cancer include: Being a woman, being over 50 and having changes in your breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. The next time you go in for your annual exam, talk to your doctor about which screening is right for you, how often you should go in for screening and any other concerns you many have in this regard. Remember prevention and catching it early is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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