It’s no secret that breast cancer risk increases as women age; the risk is even higher in women who begin menopause after 55.1 With an estimated two million women in America going through menopause each year,2 knowing the facts can help you stay proactive and prepared.
Know Your Body
Unlike the hot flashes experienced in menopause or joint pain with arthritis, breast cancer is harder to detect or recognize. Common symptoms could include a painless lump in the breast, changes in breast size and armpit swelling.3 To more easily identify any changes in your breast you should perform monthly self breast exams.4
Put Your Breast to the Test
Although monthly breast exams are important, Mammography is your best defense against breast cancer because it can detect the disease in its early stages.5 The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force recommends women 40 and older get a mammogram every year.6 When visiting your doctor seize the opportunity to get examined, since the risk of breast cancer breast cancer increases with age.
The Link to the Drink
Breastcancer.org reports that, compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10 percent for each additional drink women regularly have each day.7
Look to Your Mom
You’ve probably heard the old saying “it runs in the family.” Studies show a strong correlation between mothers and daughters when it comes to the way they age. For instance, in menopause and peri-menopause, there is a link between mothers and daughters to ovarian changes as a woman ages, as well as a possible genetic link when it comes to hot flashes,8 the same is true for the hereditary nature of breast cancer, as five to ten percent of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary and caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.9
The writing is on the wall when it comes to being smart about breast cancer during menopause, but since they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, check out this infographic of menopause and breast cancer facts.