Breast Cancer Awareness

The month of October is breast cancer awareness month.  I’m sorry that I’m a bit late with this post, but there is still time to get the word out.  We still have a bit more than 3 weeks left in the month.  There will be rallies, walks, and speeches given to help make people aware of the seriousness and the benefit of early detection of breast cancer. This subject affects me personally since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer about three years ago, and I lost a cousin to breast cancer while she was still in the prime of her life.

Here are some things you need to know:

Every year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, about 40,000 women will die from this disease annually. These statistics transfer to meaning that 1 in 8 women in America will develop breast cancer during their life time.

Another important statistic is the fact that other than skin cancer, women are susceptible to breast cancer more than any other cancer in the U.S. The good news is that 38% of breast cancer cases are preventable. With statistics like these, it is well worth the plight to bring forth the issue of breast cancer awareness among our society.

According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection at the local stage of breast cancer has a five year survival rate of 98%. One of the best methods of early detection is by self examination of the breast when in the shower. It is the perfect time to check for suspicious lumps which will of course lead to early treatment by preventing its growth. Also a yearly clinical breast exam and a mammogram, depending on the age of the individual, should be included for early detection reasons.

Breast cancer do not only affect the women.  In fact it affects men also.  Research shows that although men are susceptible to getting breast cancer, the incidents are rare, and accounts for less than 1% of the reported cases. However, I encourage  the men to join the women and help out with the efforts being made this month to promote breast cancer awareness.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

1) Tenderness in the breast nipple,

2) A lump in the breast

3) A lump in the underarm area

4) A change in the size and shape of the breast with the nipple turning slightly inward.

5) A change in the skin integrity of the breast- it may appear red and scaly, or other changes.

6) Nipple discharge.

Thankfully the American cancer society has set aside the month of October to focus its efforts in educating communities throughout the nation on breast cancer.  I urge each of you to participate in a march in or near your community.   Simply call the American Cancer Society to get the location of a march near you. You can also make a monetary donation on line by visiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Thank you for visiting today.

Healthy trails to you.

Carolyn