One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime –that’s roughly 12.4 percent of the female population of the United States – yet we only set aside one month of the year dedicated to educating and fundraising for the potentially devastating illness.

At Bergen Imaging Center we believe that breast cancer awareness is more than just a month – it’s a lifestyle. That’s why each article leading up to, and immediately following Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, will focus on breast cancer education.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Know the Facts

If you’re a woman, you’re at risk for developing breast cancer. While it can occur in men, women are 200 times more likely to develop the disease.

Your risk increases with age. Less than five percent of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women under 40. The risk of developing breast cancer increases once a woman hits 40, and is highest in women 70 and older.

Eighty-Five percent of women with breast cancer have no family history of the illness. While some types are thought to be hereditary, most types of breast cancer are caused by mutations in cells acquired over the course of a lifetime. That said, if you have a first-degree relative with the disease, your risk may be higher, and you should let your doctor know.

Diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in breast cancer prevention. Smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress are all risk factors you can control.

Mammograms save lives. Early detection is the best form of prevention*, so if you’re due for a mammogram, there’s no time like to present to schedule your appointment.

*Early detection is the best prevention from death due to breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, survival rates for women with stage 0 to stage 1 breast cancer is nearly 100 percent.