DALLAS - August 5, 2008 - The thoughts and support of the entire Susan G. Komen for the Cure® network are with Christina Applegate as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.
Christina is a long-time supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, having championed the need for early detection through a number of initiatives over the years. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, she has been active in encouraging people to remain vigilant about breast cancer screening. We were comforted to hear that Christina's cancer was discovered early and her prognosis is good.
Yet her diagnosis, at age 36, is a poignant reminder that breast cancer can strike at any age, and therefore it is critically important to be aware of your breast health, since we know early detection of breast cancer greatly improves a person's odds of beating the disease.
Understanding your personal risks
Women should understand their personal risks of the disease and the benefits of lifestyle choices in terms of reducing the risk of breast cancer. Women can decrease their risk of developing breast cancer by avoiding excessive weight gain, limiting alcohol consumption and getting regular exercise. Routine mammography for women age 40 and over has also been shown to improve breast cancer survival.
Breast cancer remains a common problem, but with a combination of early detection and effective treatment, the vast majority of women will go on to lead a long and healthy life. We trust this will be the case with Christina.
We recommend that you:
Know your risk
- Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
- Talk to your provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
- Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
- Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
- Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40
Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn't go away
Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise into your routine
- Limit alcohol intake