Breast Cancer 101

October is recognized as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pretty Lady Pole Fit wants to provide information to increase your knowledge of this disease that affects many women.  

Did you know…

  • Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer among women.
  • Breast Cancer is the most common cause of death among white, black, Asian/ Pacific Islander, and American Indian/ American Native women.

(Source: :

There are two main types of risk factors (reproductive and other risk) associated with Breast Cancer.  The CDC (Centers of Disease Control) indicates the following risk factors that are associated with this disease:

  • Starting menopause at a later date (reproductive)
  • A personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts, or other breast problems (other)
  • Using hormone replacement therapy for a long time (reproductive)
  • A family history of breast cancer (other)

(Source: Centers of Disease Control – Breast Cancer: What You Need To Know)

Along with risk factors, be aware of the breast cancer signs and symptoms.  Some of those signs and symptoms are:

  • Lump or pain in breast; skin irritation
  • Swelling of all part of breast – even when there is not a present of a lump.  

If you or someone that you know presents any of the following risk factors, signs, or symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your physician immediately.   Early detection can improve one’s outcome if breast cancer is detected and diagnosed early.  

Prevention is the key to early detection.  Screenings and along with other wellness interventions can help prevent the development of breast cancer.  

  • Self-Breast Exams is the exam when you examine your breast for any difference or changes.  To learn more about how to correctly perform a self-breast exam, watch the video on “Breast Cancer Screening” from the Inova Health Library (,w1238).
  • Screenings like mammograms are test that are performed even if no signs and symptoms of breast cancer are present.  If you are over the age of 40, speak with your physician about the best timeline for beginning this screening.

Other wellness interventions such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy  weight, staying physically active, and reducing your exposure to cancer-causing chemicals can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.  


Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Breast Cancer: What Screening Test Are There