According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, In the United States in 2007, 202,964 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,598 women died from this disease and except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. In fact, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among women of all races and Hispanic origin populations. In the state of Tennessee, breast cancer strikes 116.9 to 122.5 per 100,000 women. Genetics play a significant part in the development of breast cancer, and some researchers connect alcohol, certain foods, and obesity with the development of this disease. What is known for sure is that the older a woman is the more likely she has the chance to develop breast cancer. Unfortunately, genetics, and age are factors that we have no control over. However, there are many things that can be done to help conquer this disease in our society. One sure way women can fight back is to stay focus when it comes to their own health. A lot of women are mothers and are so busy caring for their families and others that they neglect themselves. When a woman reaches the age of 40 she has more self-health responsibilities and women need to be aware of this.
Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence; the key lies in early detection:
The American Cancer Society recommends that women examine their breasts regularly for changes. Most doctors recommend that women perform a self-breast exam once a month; usually 5-7 days after your menstrual cycle. If you are post-menopausal then pick one day and perform your self-breast exam every month around the same day. A good time to perform self-breast exams is when you are taking a shower. If you should find a lump or notice something different like dippling of skin around your nipple, do not panic. Not all breast lumps are cancer, but you should consult your physician to examine your breasts, etc. Keep in mind that breast naturally has lumps and irregularities. If you perform regular breast examinations you will get to know your breast; how they feel and how they look. Then if there are changes in your breast in the future it will be easier for you to notice them.
Professional breast examinations:
Annual breast examinations from a skilled health care provider will ensure proper detection of lumps, usual nipple appearances, etc. If lumps are detected proper follow up is necessary and carrying out proper diagnosing with a mammogram and/or breast biopsy is essential for survival. A breast examination is a useful tool for detecting breast cancer early and gives one momentum to beat this disease! If you or you know someone who is in need of a breast examination and may be afraid of the unknown, please realize that fear is fuel for the progression of this disease and to not seek proper diagnosing and treatment is just like signing a death sentence! If you, a family member or a friend is faced with breast cancer and are seeking help there are several highly recommendable breast cancer centers and resources in the Nashville area:
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center,
Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition
Susan G Komen for the Cure
Maxwell Aesthestics- Reconstruction Surgery
Cancer Treatment Center of America
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; celebrating 25 years of awareness, education and empowerment to help women conquer this disease. It is time for women to strike back at the breast cancer dilemma every day and actively strive for the cure! Women………………we have the power so let’s do it!