Education and early detection are our best tools to surviving any cancer. Breast cancer is no different and in October raising awareness can lead to greater survival rates. Many people may think this is purely a woman’s disease, but men can be affected by it also. Removing skin cancers from the equation, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (regardless of race) and it is through awareness that we can help more women (and men) beat this disease.
Knowing your risk factors can go a long way in determining whether you have a greater risk of developing breast cancer, but there are more than just hereditary or gender reasons for developing this disease. Behaviors such as smoking and environmental factors such as pollution should not be overlooked. According to the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) the most current statistics they have available (2013) include:
According to cancer.org, approximately 40,730 cancer deaths in 2015 can be attributed to breast cancer in both men and women. With this being one of the most common forms of cancer for women, the
question needs to be asked “who gets breast cancer?” There are many factors that go into determining your risk. Some risk factors include: family history, gene mutations, or even being overweight/obese. Webmd.com also points out that radiation before the age of 30 for diseases such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma can increase your risk of breast cancer later in life as well as menopausal hormone therapy. The next step after understanding risk factors is early detection in order to increase survival rates. The chart below shows the correlation between early detection and a greater percentage of survival. Basically, the earlier detected the better your chance of survival. You should work with your doctor or nurse to determine the proper way to perform a self examination. This could be your first inkling that there is something wrong, so detect early and increase your survival rate.
In order to increase survival rates, we need to be educated and have an open dialogue about breast cancer. Sticking our heads in the sand and denying the possibility will only delay any diagnosis and diminish survival rates. We should be encouraging our daughters, mothers, dads, and wives to perform self examinations to detect any lumps or abnormalities. Since education is our strongest tool, a self breast examination model can be a great asset to teaching proper technique. With an open dialogue and through research we can raise awareness and funds that can aid in treatments for breast cancer. For instance, in October you will see NFL players wearing pink for breast cancer awareness. Even during the baseball season, on Mother’s Day, MLB players will sport pink to further the cause. Go Pink!! The Drive ACS Aluminum Breast Care Awareness Four Wheel Rollator can serve two functions. It’s a great way to provide stability, but it also shows support for defeating breast cancer.
Open a dialogue with your loved ones regardless of gender or risk factor. If we can detect and treat breast cancer early and save just one life, then it’s worth it. Show your pink and your support for those who are battling or have survived!! Talk with your doctor about any and all risk factors and be sure to get tested early and live a long, healthy life.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
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