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Breast Health 101

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Breast Health 101
By: Christy Hendricks

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Experts say studies show one in eight will women develop breast cancer.

October is breast cancer awareness month so recently, Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau held a breast health 101 class.

With October as breast cancer awareness month, it highlights the importance to know the signs and risks of breast cancer.  So this month we take you back to the basics of breast health.

"Basically it's about getting to know who you are, getting familliar and comfortable with your body and then being able to report any abnormalities should they occur," said Bobbi Morris, a nursing instructor at Southeast Missouri State University. 

She recommends women to start monthly self breast exams in their 20s, get a clininal exam once a year and start getting a yearly mamogram at age 40.

"I recommend that many women do their actual breast exam in the shower," Morris said. "Soap and water tends to help move the fingers over the breast tissue and most important piece is to evaluate what your breast fell like on a month to month basis."

Morris also recommends looking in a mirror and holding your arms over your head to look for abnormalities.

Those who attended the session say it's important information to pass along.

"I have daughters and granddaughters and I just think we get armed by more information," said Connie Griswold of Jackson.

With more information, breast cancer can be detected earlier and overcome.

"Many see a diagnosis of breast cancer as a death sentence.  80 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer live," Morris said.

Another tips when doing self-breast exams, you're wrist bone is a good example of what breast cancer feels like.

For more information about breast cancer prevention, visit the American Cancer Society's website or call 1-800-ACS-2345.

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