By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
In case you haven't already noticed the pink popping up everywhere, October (can you believe it's almost October?) is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's so important to get educated about this disease because, unlike other forms of cancer, breast cancer is something you can detect early.
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So, what about those other forms of cancer? Which ones should you be in the know about? To educate ourselves and you, we called the American Cancer Society to ask which types of cancer are on the rise among young women (ages 20-39). Here are three that should be on your radar:
Melanoma: Since 1992, there has been an annual 3 percent increase in melanoma rates among Caucasian women (rates are 10 times lower in African American women).
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Symptoms to look out for: According to the American Cancer Society, warning signs include: Changes in the size, shape or color of a skin legion, or a new growth on the skin. Changes that occur over a few days are generally not cancer, however, as changes progress over a month or more, get evaluated by a dermatologist. Ditch the tanning bed and slather on the sunscreen, ladies!
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Thyroid Cancer: Three out of four cases of thyroid cancer occur in women, and rates have been increasing since the mid-1990s, making it the fastest-increasing cancer among men and women. Which is crazy because you hear so little about it.
Symptoms to look out for: The most common symptom is a lump in the neck that you or a doctor notice during an exam. You might also notice a tight or full feeling in the neck, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, swollen lymph nodes and pain in the neck or throat that does not go away. The good news is that if caught early, this is one of the most curable types of cancer! So if something seems out of whack, get checked out. Better to be safe...
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Kidney Cancer: Since 1975, rates of kidney cancer among women have been increasing by 2.4 percent per year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Symptoms to look out for: Unfortunately, early stage kidney cancer generally doesn't have many symptoms. But as it progresses, there can be blood in the urine, pain or a lump in the lower back or abdomen, weight loss, fatigue, fever or swelling in the legs and ankles. The number one risk factor: Smoking. Surely, we don't need to lecture you about that!
Do you get regular skin screenings? Fess up!
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Photo Credit: WWD