Breast Cancer Awareness: Fight Like a Girl

Hello! It’s Dr. Kelly, your board-certified physician and bounce-back coach. I help high performing women who are successful at work but are unhappy in other areas of their lives. Through my coaching, speaking and writing, I help them recover from failed relationships to bounce back to better, improve their self-esteem and live the life they dreamed of. 

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many, if not all of us, have been affected or know a woman who has been affected by this disease. About 1 in 8  women in the U.S will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. While overall breast cancer rates are about the same in black and white women, in women under the age of 45, breast cancer is more common in black women.

Black women are also more likely to die from their breast cancer. In one study done in 2014, the risk of death was increased by 43% in black women compared to white women. Many factors play a role in this racial disparity such as  differences in health care access and delivery as well as in genetics and cancer biology. Black women have a higher risk of the more aggressive, triple negative breast cancer and can die at an earlier age than white women.

What about the risks of breast cancer? There are some risks which you have no control over such as being a woman and age. About two-thirds of invasive breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 55. Having a positive family history in your mother, sister or daughter also doubles your risk as there may be a gene abnormality.

However, there are risks that you can control such as being overweight or obese, not being active and excessive alcohol use. Having combined hormonal therapy especially after the age of 60 also increases your breast cancer risk. If you’re a black woman, you may want to talk with your doctor about your risks.

Lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of breast cancer include: maintaining a healthy weight, exercising daily, eating a well-balanced diet that’s low in processed foods, limiting alcohol and not smoking.

Some women have no symptoms at all, but symptoms can include change in the size or shape of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk and a new lump in the breast or underarm.

Mammograms are most commonly used way to screen for breast cancer. It is recommended that all women have a breast cancer assessment at age 30 to determine if regular screening mammograms should begin at age 40 (for women with average risk of breast cancer) or at a younger age for those high-risk women. If you are 50 to 74 years old,  have a screening mammogram every two years.  If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor how often to get a screening mammogram.

Women who are at a high risk for breast cancer should be tested more frequently and with other tools such as a breast MRI or ultrasound.

Physician, Endocrinologist, Diabetes and Hormone specialist, Health and Wellness expert, Blogger and SpeakerDr. Kelly Wood, MD is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. She has many years of experience working with patients to transform and improve their health. She is a sought-after speaker, author and health and wellness expert.
As founder of DrKellyWoodMD.com, Dr. Kelly is also passionate about helping high performing women who are successful at work but are unhappy in other areas of their life. By focusing on topics surrounding resilience, self-worth and self-esteem, she helps them bounce back to better to live the life they dreamed of.
Dr. Kelly has an engaging personality and has a commitment to improve the life of others. She shares her knowledge with women on the stage, her weekly Facebook show o as well as her blog.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s