October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a reminder to healthcare providers to share education and resources with their patients about breast cancer screening, detection, and prevention. CDC included a list for providers to highlight:

  • Breast cancer risk factors
  • Knowing what to do to lower those risks
  • When to get regular breast cancer screenings

Many factors may contribute to breast cancer, so it’s important for patients to understand their risks, including understanding the underlying genetics and impact of family history and lifestyle decisions. Moreover, providers can discuss the screening timeline that fits with each individual patient.

For patients and providers, CDC offers many online resources, including:

  • The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program helps connect low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.
  • CDC's Bring Your Brave campaign provides information about breast cancer to women younger than 45 using real stories of prevention, risk, family history, and survivorship.
  • My Motivated Moment, a new podcast series from Bring Your Brave, features six personal experiences with breast cancer and encouraging stories about taking charge of your health.
  • New videos show CDC experts answering questions about breast cancer.

As critical members of the breast cancer prevention conversation, oncology nurses can work with their patients to identify unhealthy or dangerous lifestyle choices and help their patients correct their course. Moreover, oncology nurses can connect their patients with certified genetic counselors to determine family history and genetic predisposition to breast cancer.