Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with breast cancer. According to Seton Healthcare, one in every eight are women.
To fight it, doctors are sharing four things you should know about the cancer.
Know your risk.
"The earlier you started your menstrual period, the later you go through menopause," said Dr. Julie Sprunt, a breast surgeon at Seton Medical Center Austin. "Those increase your risk for breast cancer. If you've never had children, that increases your risk for breast cancer. And if you have breast fed, that reduces your risk of breast cancer."
A family history of breast cancer is also a risk factor but does not mean you will be diagnosed.
"Only about five to ten percent of breast cancers have genetic causes," Dr. Sprunt said.
That leads to the second piece of advice.
Know when to get screened.
"Consider starting mammograms at the age of 40," Dr. Sprunt said. "Definitely starting mammograms at the age of 45."
Early detection can save your life.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a yearly clinical breast exam by your doctor, but still urges mammograms.
"It allows us to find breast cancers earlier and at a lower stage," Dr. Sprunt said.
Have a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables and lean meats; exercise regularly; don't smoke and limit your alcohol intake.
"There's a linear relationship to breast cancer and alcohol intake," Dr. Sprunt said. "The more you drink, the more increased the risk is to developing breast cancer. That being said, that risk is still relatively low. But it's something important to know."
Also, see your doctor for a yearly well-being check.