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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month –
Take Preventative Action Today

Date: 10/24/22

According to the California Breast Cancer Research Program, nearly 200,000 California women are living with breast cancer today. Relying on family history is not the best guide to determine if you might have breast cancer. That's because about 80 percent of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease. A plan for better breast health begins with regular self-exams and yearly screenings.

So, Health Net urges members 21 and older to ask their doctor about getting a clinical breast exam during their yearly checkup to screen for breast cancer early. It's recommended that anyone 40 and older receives a breast exam every one to two years, or as told by their doctor.

Self-exams can also be critical to early detection and saving your life. Below are steps to breast self-awareness.1

  1. With your arms at your sides, stand in front of a mirror and check for the visual signs of breast cancer, listed below. Look again with arms raised over your head.
    1. Change in size, shape, and skin
    2. Discharge and changes in nipples or skin around them
    3. Pain, ache, tenderness, warmth, or hardening
    4. Swelling, redness, or changes in color
    5. Lumps, bumps, or thickening
  2. Lay down, raise your right arm over your head and use the fingers on your left hand to examine your breast in an up and down motion.
  3. Search for visual signs of breast cancer like changes in size, shape, nipples, color, or skin. Repeat on left breast using your right hand.

A plan for better breast health begins with regular self-exams and yearly screenings. This month, take preventative action and book an appointment with your doctor.

1 This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your health care provider's instructions.

Last Updated: 10/24/2022