October means very different things to people depending on who you ask. Some are excited for the leaves and temperatures of the air changing, some love the spooky vibes that Halloween brings, but it is also a time of awareness for breast cancer. All month long, survivors and supporters wear pink to celebrate those who have been affected, remember those who did not win the battle and shed light on the disease as a whole. The information being shared is not to scare you, but to bring our little piece of awareness into your home so you or someone you love will not be so strongly shaken by breast cancer. Although we wear pink during October, the following information should be kept with you all year long!
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Though alarming to hear the words “you have breast cancer”, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, when detected at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Some early detection good habits include:
- A change in how the breast or nipple feels
- A change in the breast or nipple appearance
- Any nipple discharge (clear or bloody)
[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Be sensitive to the sign of any breast pain:
As women, we become desensitized to discomfort because we brush off any weird aches and pains as our menstrual cycle just preparing our body for its arrival, but not this time. It is very important to be extra sensitive about pain in areas like the breast because it can be a sign of breast cancer and, if caught early, can save your life.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Perform self-examinations:
Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.
Some lumps may just be breast cysts, which are still important to check because the different between a cyst and a cancer cell cannot be dedicated by the naked eye.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Stay up-to-date with breast exams (as previously stated):
A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.
- Women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years.
- Women who are younger than 40 and have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them.
- Women who have no symptoms and no known risks for breast cancer should have regularly scheduled mammograms to help detect potential breast cancer at the earliest possible time.
[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Instill healthy eating habits:
These acts will not completely prevent cancer, but it will help reduce your risks:
- Maintain healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eats your fruits and veggies
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
Men are not to be excluded from this conversation. All people, whether male or female, are born with some breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissues can still develop cancer.
Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to check for and assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.
May this information serve you more as you continue on your journeys. If you have found any helpful tips or article surrounding breast cancer, please leave us a comment with the information included.
Whether one lost their battle, are still fighting it or are in remission, today and always we commemorate those who have been affected by breast cancer.