LOGAN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Logan County Department of Public Health (LCDPH) encourages all women to take care of their health.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) revealed that over 12% of American women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. In Illinois alone, more than 2,000 women die will each year of breast cancer.
“The main risk factor for developing breast cancer is simply being a woman,” IDPH officials said.
Officials said all women are at risk regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or family history.
According to IDPH, the risk of developing breast cancer rises as a woman ages. Minority women tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage, and more African-American women die from breast cancer than any other race.
Despite no way to prevent breast cancer, early detection can save lives. Women detected and treated at an early stage have a high survival rate. However, only about 9% of breast cancers in Illinois are detected at the most curable stage.
IDPH recommends women have monthly breast self-examinations and annual clinical breast examinations starting at age 20. Women should see doctors when they notice a breast change, such as the development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, pain or changes to the nipple, redness or scaliness of the breast skin or discharge other than breast milk.
IDPH said though most breast changes are not cancer, experienced healthcare professionals can examine the breast and determine needed tests to rule out cancer.
“LCDPH urges women to play it safe by following the precautionary measures to reduce breast cancer,” LCDPH officials said.