By State Rep. Todd Hunter
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas — Each year, the month of October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Spearheaded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, this annual initiative serves to raise awareness about breast cancer and offer support to those impacted by the disease.
Breast cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women behind lung cancer.
Given these statistics, I would like to use this week’s column to share information about breast cancer risks and warning signs as well as the important role cancer screenings and early detection play in fighting the disease.
Breast cancer occurs when malignant cells grow in the tissue of the breast. These cells sometimes form into a tumor, which can be felt as a new lump or mass in the breast. While this new lump, along with other unusual changes, may indicate the presence of cancerous cells, breast cancer does not always present physical symptoms in the earliest stages of the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, however, cancer found at an early stage – when it is small and has not spread – is easier to treat. For this reason, screening exams, such as mammograms, are key to finding cancers before they start to cause symptoms, known as early detection.
Breast cancer screenings are recommended for all women beginning after the age of 40. However, individuals with a higher risk of the disease may need to be screened earlier and more often.
There are several key factors that are used in determining a person’s risk level of developing breast cancer, such as age, ethnicity and family history. While some men, especially those with a genetic history of the disease, have a risk of breast cancer, women represent 99% of all breast cancer cases and have a significantly higher risk of breast cancer than men.
In addition, the American Cancer Society states lifestyle also plays an important role in determining a person’s risk level. These factors can include weight, alcohol and tobacco use, physical activity level and diet.
During this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I hope you will join me in supporting all those impacted by breast cancer. I also encourage you to take the time to learn more about this disease.
Finally, for information about the different symptoms and risk factors for breast cancer, review the American Cancer Society Guidelines.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603). And please, always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas State Agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services.
Texas State Representative Todd Hunter represents Texas House District 32, covering Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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Source: Texas Politics