As Breast Cancer Awareness Month Ends These Facts Are Worth Remembering
Breast cancer doesnt take a break when November rolls around and the pink ribbons of Octobers breast cancer awareness month fade from view.
Physicians at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons have been speaking and writing about what people, not just women, should know about breast cancer.
Here, weve summed up some of their latest advice, good for all 12 months of the year.
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Types Of Breast Cancer
There are multiple types, but they are typically broken down into: invasive and non-invasive.
Invasive breast cancer is the most common. This is where the cancer cells have spread through the lining of the ducts into the surrounding tissue.
Non-invasive breast cancer is found in the ducts of the breast and has not spread into the breast tissue surrounding the ducts.
How Do I Self
Lots of people talk about doing self-checks , to try and spot cancer early.
Its good to be aware of what your body is normally like, so its easier to notice if anything changes. But theres no good evidence to suggest that regularly self-checking any part of your body in a set time or set way is helpful. It can actually do more harm than good, by picking up things which wouldnt have gone on to cause you problems.
Self-checking is different to cancer screening read more about screening for cancer.
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What Should I Be Looking For
Aside from finding a noticeable lump, breast cancer can have a number of different symptoms.
The NHS suggests seeing your GP if you notice any of the following changes:
- a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- a new lump, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that is different from the same area on the other side
- nipple discharge thats not milky
- bleeding from your nipple
- a moist, red area on your nipple that doesnt heal easily
- any change in nipple position, such as your nipple being pulled in or pointing differently
- a rash on or around your nipple
- any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if its a new pain and doesnt go away
What Are The Symptoms
There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk .
- A new lump in the breast or underarm.
If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.
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Pink Up This Breast Cancerawareness Month
Did you know that an estimated 55 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every day this year? When you Pink Up and fundraise or donate from home this October youll not only be showing your support for people experiencing breast cancer, but youll also help the McGrath Foundation place McGrath Breast Care Nurses around Australia!
However you choose to get involved, make a start by setting up your very own fundraising page.
Ink A Cancer Memorial Tattoo
Tattoos are a great way to celebrate strength and courage, so commemorate beating cancer and kicking it to the curb with a tattoo. Not sure what to choose?
Choose anything that reminds you of loved ones or a mantra, a song, or any saying that got you through the journey. You could even pick something that reminds you of the days of recoveryperhaps a bird that visited your window or flowers sent to you by a loved one would work.
Remember, theres no right or wrong when choosing a tattoo. All it has to do is speak to you and of your journey or that of a loved one. You can choose whatever a cancer memorial tattoo means to you.
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Can I Rely On Breast Self
Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but dont panic 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.
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Symptoms To Look Out For
Some people with breast cancer experience no symptoms. In some cases, however, changes may start to occur from an early stage. People should speak with a doctor about their screening plan if they have any concerns.
It is also worth noting that not all breast lumps are breast cancer, and not every case of breast cancer involves a lump. For these reasons, people should attend regular screening as a doctor recommends.
Breast cancer can cause changes in the lymph nodes in the early stages.
To check the lymph nodes, look for:
- a lump, swelling, or thickening around the underarm
- a lump or swelling in the collarbone area
- a thickening of the skin in the armpit
Lymph node involvement can also result in a rash on the breast in people with inflammatory breast cancer.
A person should contact a doctor about these or any other unexplained changes, especially if they only seem to affect one breast.
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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Information Research Patient Services Advocacy
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Millions of women are living with breast cancer and survival rates have improved over time thanks, in part, to early detection and advances in treatment.
The American Cancer Society is committed to helping prevent breast cancer, developing guidelines that help find breast cancers early, and providing support and information about treatment options and coping with physical and emotional side effects. We also fund research that leads to finding better ways to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer.
For Nearly Four Decades Now The Country Has Recognized October As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month It Is A Time Annually Devoted To Educating Everyone About Breast Cancerincluding Metastatic Breast Cancer And The Importance Of Early Detection And Timely High
No matter who you are or where you live, breast cancer may touch your life. Its necessary to understand the warning signs of breast cancer, your risk and whats normal for you, so if there are any changes in your breasts, you can act.
Since 1989, Susan G. Komen has helped drive down mortality rates from breast cancer thanks to our focus on early detection and improvements in treatmenthowever, that progress is in jeopardy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people delayed their regular screening and the pandemic disrupted treatment and research progress.
And progress is needed. Through research, growing knowledge about breast cancer has led to new therapies and targeted treatments that improved outcomes for many people and replaced the one-size-fits-all treatments of three decades ago. It is research that brings hope to patients facing this disease, especially those living with MBC. We need to ensure more options for patients, especially when treatments stop working.
The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the disparity in breast cancer treatments for rural and low-income people across the country, as well as the disparity in treatment between Black and white women. Black women in the U.S. are about 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
Thats why Susan G. Komen encourages you to dedicate this October as a time of action, both for yourself and others.
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Environmental Breast Cancer Movement
Most of the money raised by advocates is spent on increasing awareness, cancer screening, and existing treatments. Only a small fraction of the funds is spent on research, and less than 7% of the total research funding provided by breast cancer organizations goes to prevention. Instead, most of the charities fund research into detection and treatment. Advocates like Breast Cancer Action and women’s health issues scholar Samantha King, whose book inspired the 2011 documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc., are unhappy that relatively little money or attention is devoted to identifying the non-genetic causes of breast cancer or to preventing breast cancer from occurring. The mainstream breast cancer culture has been criticized for focusing on detecting and curing existing breast cancer cases, rather than on preventing future cases.
As a result, screening mammography is promoted by the breast cancer culture as the sole possible approach to public health for breast cancer. Alternatives, such as pollution prevention, are largely ignored.
Samantha King says that prevention research is minimized by the breast cancer industry because there is no way to make money off of cases of breast cancer that do not happen, whereas a mammography imaging system that finds more possible cancers, or a “magic bullet” that kills confirmed cancers, would be highly profitable.
What Can Cause Breast Cancer
The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown. Certain things can increase your chance of developing it. Some of these factors are inherited, and some are incurred throughout your life, and others are present in the environment in which you live. Collectively, these factors are described as risk factors.
Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age about 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50
- Having had breast cancer before
- Having a breast condition
- If you have had radiation to the chest before the age of 30
- Lifestyle factors being overweight or regularly drinking alcohol.
Having one or more risk factors does not mean you will develop breast cancer, and if you dont have any risk factors this doesnt mean you wont develop breast cancer.
Simple changes to your lifestyle can lower your risk of breast cancer. Maintaining a good diet and a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not drinking excessively can all help to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
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Should I Check My Testicles
Its a good idea to know what your testicles usually look and feel like, and to be aware of their normal size and weight. This can make it easier to spot unusual changes, which you should always let your doctor know about.
But theres no need to worry about regularly self-checking at a set time or in a set way. There is no specific self-checking method that has overall proven benefits.
Remind Providers About The Importance Of Communication And Its Impact On Patients Quality Of Life
- Emphasize that patients often report health professionals as their most important information source .
- Prompt providers to spend more time talking to their patients and ask proactive questions, like, Have you had any problems that we havent discussed yet? and Are there any things that we can do better? .
- Remind providers to avoid heteronormative assumptions about their patients and explore a full range of surgical and post-surgical options. For example, forgoing breast reconstruction can be an affirming decision for some LGBTQ+ survivors .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
As the most common cancer in the UK, its important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the higher the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means its easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor. A breast lump or mass is the most common and well-known symptom of breast cancer. But whilst many breast cancers can be felt as a lump in the breast, not all can. There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so regularly checking your breasts for anything different or new is important. This means checking your breasts, and feeling all the way up to collar bone, as well as your armpits for any changes.Symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump or swelling in your breast, upper chest or armpit
- Changes to your skin, this may be dimpling or puckering
- Changes to the colour of your breast, your breast may look red or inflamed
- Changes in the size or shape of your breasts, its normal to have slight differences between your breasts, but if you notice any changes to the shape and size of your breasts, get them checked
- A rash or crusting around your nipple
- Changes to your nipple, your nipple may have become inverted
- Discharge from your nipples, you may notice an unusual liquid from either nipple
- Pain in your breast or armpit
Spread The Walk The Walk Word This Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness month is all about just that, raising awareness about breast cancer. Lets come together and continue to make a difference, not just in October but every month of the year.
Walk the Walk are dedicated to raising money and awareness for vital breast cancer causes. Taking on one of our Virtual or Walking Challenges helps you get fit, raises money for research, and to support those needing our help, both going through treatment and living with cancer.
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Breast Cancer Cases In The Us
The American Cancer Society has estimated that in the year 2020, there will be about 42,170 women who will die of breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer deaths have reduced drastically in the last many years. There has been a 40% drop between 1989 to 2016. It has been noticed that the decline is because of improved medical services, an increase in the level of awareness, and early detection. Breast cancer is most common in women under the age of 45.
What To Do If You Find A Lump
Dont panic if you think you feel a lump in your breast. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign . There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.
Dont hesitate to call your doctor if youve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. This is especially true for changes that last more than one full menstrual cycle or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way. If you menstruate, you may want to wait until after your period to see if the lump or other breast change disappears on its own before calling your doctor. The best healthcare provider to call would be one who knows you and has done a breast exam on you before for example, your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or a nurse practitioner who works with your gynecologist or primary care doctor.
Make sure you get answers. Its important that your doctor gives you an explanation of the cause of the lump or other breast change and, if necessary, a plan for monitoring it or treating it. If youre not comfortable with the advice of the first doctor you see, dont hesitate to get a second opinion.
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Breast Cancer As A Brand
Breast cancer advocacy uses the pink ribbon and the color pink as a concept brand to raise money and increase screening. The breast cancer brand is strong: people who support the “pink brand” are members of the socially awareniche market, who are in favor of improved lives for women, believe in positive thinking, trust biomedical science to be able to solve any problem if given enough money, and prefer curative treatments to prevention.
The brand ties together fear of cancer, hope for early identification and successful treatment, and the moral goodness of women with breast cancer and anyone who visibly identifies themselves with breast cancer patients. This brand permits and even encourages people to substitute conscientious consumption and individual symbolic actions, like buying or wearing a pink ribbon, for concrete, practical results, such as collective political action aimed at discovering non-genetic causes of breast cancer.
The establishment of the brand and the entrenchment of the breast cancer movement has been uniquely successful, because no countermovement opposes the breast cancer movement or believes that breast cancer is desirable.
Dont Play With Your Health Get Checked
1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat, and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.
Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option.
The majority of deaths occur in low- and middle-income families, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.
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Breast Cancer: The Brand
Breast cancer is a unique case study in disease branding. Breast Cancer Awareness Month , launched in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries , was originally intended to encourage women to get regular mammograms. The momentum around breast cancer awareness continued in the early 1990s, when Evelyn Lauder established the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and solidified the pink ribbon as a universal symbol for the disease. The rest, as they say, is history.
You might ask: A month dedicated to raising awareness for a pressing challenge in modern health care what could possibly be wrong with that?
The answer is, to borrow a term coined by Breast Cancer Action, pinkwashing. What began as a strategic, research-driven, and ultimately effective fundraising approach has been co-opted by many in the name of profit.
Throughout the month of October, companies eager to drive sales plaster their products with pink ribbons and inspirational quotes. The best of them contribute all or a significant percentage of the proceeds to the cause. Many others commit nominal amounts or nothing at all. Breast cancer survivors are flooded with requests to participate in corporate campaigns, often with no promise of compensation.