Yvonne LevardiAccording to cancer.org, about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year and about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop it during their lifetime.

Look around you and count. I am one of 12 women in my workplace; if the statistic holds true, at least one of us will have breast cancer in our lives. And don’t fool yourself – this isn’t necessarily an inherited condition. Eighty-five percent of women who get breast cancer have no family history of it.

Overall, the numbers show that for women, breast cancer rates are dropping – which is good, as it’s the second leading cause of cancer death in women. However, a 2009 study of female military members 30-40 years old showed they had higher rates of breast cancer compared to the general population.

That means for those of us who are female Veterans, we need to be more vigilant. Fortunately, as Veterans, there are services that can help you.

Start here, at the Women Veterans Program webpage.

Also, take a look at health care available for women Veterans. VA primary care for women Veterans does include mammograms for certain age groups. You’ll find eligibility and enrollment information here.

And finally, here’s some general information on breast cancer awareness.

Bottom line is, take care of yourself! Get your preventative care checks done, and pay attention to your body. You’re the first one who would know if something is wrong with you. And especially with breast cancer, the sooner it’s caught the better. Don’t wait.

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Published on Oct. 10, 2013

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One Comment

  1. Lara October 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Last year in November, I had my annual check up through the VA. I had seen my civilian physician three months before and had felt a lump in my right breast. I had a mammogram in the beginning of the year and was told to wait and we would watch it. When I spoke to my VA physician she immediately scheduled a mammogram. My VA Physician saved my life and we caught the breast cancer early. I chose to go through my civilian physicians, my VA hospital wasn’t very equipped to handle breast cancer. I am very excited to know that the VA is taking an active part in the fight again breast cancer. Again, without the amazing care from my VA physician who knows if I would be sitting here now. Prevention is everything.

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