HEALTHBEAT 4: Breast Cancer Awareness Month - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEALTHBEAT 4: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Medical Director at Mercy Breast Care Center Dr. Adnan Qalbani says that regular check-ups are crucial.

"They key to curing breast cancer is catching it early in most cases," said Dr. Adnan Qalbani, Medical Director at Mercy Breast Care Center. "And by doing screening mammograms, we catch it early- often before you even feel a lump, or know that something is going on."

Dr. Qalbani suggests that every woman should get a mammogram every year, starting at the age of 40.

He adds a cure is not as simple as just getting rid whats making you sick.

"Breast cancer is not one disease, pancreatic cancer is not once disease, colon cancer is not one disease, there are a few different cancers that go into each of those," adds Dr. Qalbani. "It's not one disease, I don't want to say there's a cure for all breast cancer, but there's a cure for most breast cancer if we catch them early."

Among genetics and environmental factors, unopposed estrogen is a cause of breast cancer. 

"Women who are on hormone replacement have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer," said Dr. Qalbani. "If you need to be on it, again like having one drink it's healthy for you to do, it makes you feel better about life to be on hormone replacement, I think that's important to do. But you should try and be on a limited dose,  and you should be on it the shortest period of time you can."

Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

October in National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Dr. Qalbani doesn't want the heightened-talk surrounding it, to scare people.

"You've got to live your life, and enjoy it," said Dr. Qalbani. "That's more important than just living to avoid breast cancer."

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