This year more than 13,000 women in Florida will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 2,000 will die.
Terry Yriondo of Panama City Beach is one of the survivors. She actually noticed the cancer herself in a lump on her breast and called her doctor the next day. She was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer on May 28, 1999 and started treatment within the week.
This February, it will be five years since her last cancer treatment. She says the best thing is to be aware of your health and do not be afraid to ask questions.
"Don't think what the first doctor tells you is gospel, find out everything you can, educate yourself. Get online, talk to people in support groups, learn the most you can about what you have and then make an educated decision based on what you know."
Here is a list of five things the American Cancer Society says are important when trying to understand breast cancer.
- All women can get breast cancer, despite family history.
- The two important factors for the cancer are being a woman and getting older.
- Mammograms are the best way to detect it, and the earlier the detection the more likely the survival.
- Physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol can reduce your risk.
- Because of education and early detection, more women are surviving breast cancer.
For more information log onto the American Cancer Society's website at www.cancer.org.
When to Examine Your Breasts
- Examine once a month, when your breasts are not tender or swollen.
- After menopause, check your breasts on the first day of each month. After a hysterectomy, consult with your doctor or clinic for an appropriate time of the month
What to do if you find a lump or thickening?
- If a lump, dimple or discharge is discovered during a self-exam, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
American Cancer Society Recommendations
- A monthly self-examination breast exam is not a substitute for an examination by a medical professional. How often should I see the doctor for a mammogram?
- Ages 35-39, one baseline mammogram.
- Ages 40-49, one every 1-2 years.
- Over age 50, one every year.
Source: American Cancer Society