Is It Ever Not Breast Cancer Awareness Month?By
Fall also brings us closer to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It comes to us every October. We’re big fans of the little pink ribbon and we’re excited to spread the word again this year but isn’t every month kind of a Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
The little pink ribbon first appeared in 1991 with the Susan G. Komen race in New York City for Breast Cancer Survivors. It has become an annual endeavor and much has been done in the areas of research and treatment but the race is still very much full on.
In 2011 there were over 230,000 reported cases of breast cancer. Most were women but men were diagnosed also. Over a quarter of the people diagnosed were under the age of 50. Over a quarter of all the women diagnosed with any type of cancer in 2011 were diagnosed with breast cancer.
What puts someone at risk? Many point to heredity and that certainly plays a factor but studies showed that almost ¾ of the women diagnosed with breast cancer presented no real risk factors. Smoking obviously puts one at risk and diet plays a role. Research has shown that brightly colored fruits and vegetables build healthier cells that may be stronger to fight invasive cancer so eat up!
Regular screenings are a key to early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Women are counseled to look for lumps or abnormalities in breast tissue. While 80% of the lumps discovered turned out to be benign or noncancerous the remaining 20% left a lot on some peoples plates. If you’re worried about all of those mammograms and your exposure to radiation keep in mind that a single screening gives you about the same dose as you’d normally get in the outside world over the course of a couple of months. Seems like a small price to pay, doesn’t it?
If you are diagnosed you have a variety of treatments and therapies to choose from. Many doctors are trying to avoid invasive surgeries. New treatments are being developed and many are embracing hormone and holistic therapies. Your doctor can evaluate your case and look at your history and help determine the best course of action for you.
The important thing is to be aware. Don’t wait for October to think about breast cancer. Make today a Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Maybe tomorrow too. And probably the next day…