Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Information Research Patient Services Advocacy
Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the US for men and women. But many colorectal cancers can be prevented or caught early, when they might be easier to treat. Thats why getting screened is so important. Learn more about colorectal cancer, screening tests, and lifesaving research.
Screening: Mammograms And Self
Screening for breast cancer allows for doctors and medical professionals to monitor abnormal cell growth and potentially catch the cancer in the earlier, more treatable stages. The main type of screening used by medical professionals is mammograms. It is recommended that women start receiving mammograms at the age of 40. Women between the ages 40-54 should receive a mammogram once a year. Once they have reached the age of 55, women only need a mammogram every two years.
Self-examination is recommended to be done once a month but should NOT however replace a mammogram. Self-examination in combination with mammograms allows of an increase likelihood of early detection. Self-examination is the examination for any pain, lumps, or changes in breasts or breast area. Individuals should report any concerns or changes to their doctor.
For more information on self-examination and how to properly conduct a self-exam visit:
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Breast Cancer
- A change in how the breast or nipple looks or feels
- A change in the breast or nipple appearance
- Any type of nipple dischargeparticularly clear discharge or bloody discharge
- Skin irritation, such as redness, thickening or dimpling of the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit
Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, and any time an abnormality is discovered, it should be looked at by a healthcare professional.
- Ages 40-44: Women should have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
- Ages 45-54: Women should get a mammogram every year.
- Women age 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or choose to continue annual mammograms.
All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening what the test can and cannot do.
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Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Information Research Patient Services Advocacy
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Learn about the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive approach to combating lung cancer.
Heres Why October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month dates back to 1985, when the first organized movement to bring awareness to the cause of breast cancer occurred in the U.S.
Every October, we have all seen that little pink ribbon or people wearing pink.
Most are aware that the color pink is synonymous with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
However, its not widely known how or why National Breast Cancer Awareness Month started, and why it takes place in the month of October.
Here is what you need to know.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Abnormal growth and behaviour of cells in the breast can cause non-cancerous conditions such as hyperplasia, cysts and tumors. However, these cellular changes can also cause breast cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
In the early stages of the disease, women may experience no obvious signs or symptoms. However, if they do, then typically these are the symptoms they will experience:4
- a lump in the armpit
- changes in the shape or size of the breast
- changes to the nipple, such as an inverted nipple
- discharge or blood that comes out of the nipple without squeezing it
In later stages of the disease, women may experience the following symptoms:4
- bone pain
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect Canadian women.1 Research shows that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.1 Breast cancer tends to occur in women between the ages of 50 and 69, but it can also occur in men .2
Fortunately, as a result of research and advancements in technology, the outcome of the disease has substantially improved. Since the 1980s the breast cancer mortality rate has been decreasing,3 with 85% of women and 75% of men surviving more than 5 years after their breast cancer diagnosis.3
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How To Prevent Breast Cancer
Regular breast cancer screenings
Breast cancer screenings occur when a woman shows no signs or symptoms of the disease.5 A mammograph is a low-dose x-ray used to see if cancer is developing in the body.5 Women should begin getting mammograms at age 40, unless otherwise specified by their physician.5 When breast cancer is discovered in a womans body and treated early, treatment has a better chance of being successful.5
Self-exams at home
While regular screenings are important to detect breast cancer before it can be felt, it is recommended to perform a self-exam at home to check for lumps at least once a month.6 While 8 out of 10 lumps are non-cancerous, this allows women to communicate any breast abnormalities they may feel to their health care physician.6 Here are steps for completing a self-exam at home.
Communicating With Diverse Audiences
When communicating about breast cancer, your audience may be diverse. Consider the information most useful to the relevant groups. Certain groups experience disparities in breast cancer screening, incidence, mortality, and survival . Cancer health disparities are complex and affected by various factors, such as, social determinants of health, behavior, biology, genetics, and more . Communication-related issues may also play a role in cancer disparities .
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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.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Symptoms of breast cancer can vary from patient to patient, and some may not experience any at all. However, some common symptoms one may experience are:
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast
- Pain in the breast
- Discharge from the nipple , including blood
- A new lump in the breast or underarm
If you have concerns about any symptoms you are experiencing, see your doctor right away.
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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.
Enhertu: Treating Metastatic Her2
For women diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer, it means they have high overexpression of HER2 on their cancer cells. If you have metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, it means your breast cancer overexpresses HER2 and has spread beyond the breast to other parts of your body. HER2-positive breast cancers were previously thought to confer worse prognosis, but targeted agents have become available that are changing the landscape of how HER2-positive breast cancer is treated.
Women with metastatic or unresectable HER2-positive breast cancer can potentially find hope in a new drug called ENHERTU, or trastuzumab deruxtecan some breast oncologists tell us the drug could be practice-changing for HER2 patients.
In mid-September, preliminary results from a recent study about the drugs effectiveness were released at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2021, a renowned European oncological conference. The results were quite dramatic, Dr. Douglas Marks, a medical oncologist at NYU Langone Health, tells SurvivorNet. ENHERTU is reducing the risk of disease progression or death by 72% when administered as a second-line treatment this is compared to the drug Kadcyla, or T-DM1 .
The phase 3 trial also found that people treated with ENHERTU had about a three-fold improvement in progression-free survival than patients treated with Kadcyla.
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What Are The Early Signs Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body, most commonly the liver, brain, bones, or lungs.
- According to breastcancer.org, the most common symptom of breast cancer that has spread to the bone is a sudden, noticeable new pain. Breast cancer can spread to any bone, but most often spreads to the ribs, spine, pelvis, or the long bones in the arms and legs.
- When breast cancer moves into the lung, it often doesnt cause many symptoms. If a lung metastasis does cause noticeable symptoms, it may include pain or discomfort in the lung, shortness of breath, and a persistent cough.
- Symptoms of breast cancer that has spread to the brain can include headache, changes in speech or vision, memory problems, and others.
- When breast cancer spreads to the liver, it often doesnt cause many noticeable symptoms. If a liver metastasis does cause symptoms, it can include pain or discomfort in the mid-section, fatigue, weight loss or poor appetite, and fever.
There are a wide variety of treatment options for metastatic breast cancer, and new medicines are being tested every day.
Although there is no sure way to fully prevent breast cancer, it is highly recommended from the National Breast Cancer Foundation to do these things to lower your risk:
For more information on breast cancer early detection, risk factors, treatment, recovery or free patient support, call the American Cancer Society anytime at 800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
Breast Cancer Screening Services At Hsnt
Health Services of North Texas provides referrals for mammograms and breast examinations for their patients. Health Services of North Texas has bilingual medical professionals to help with any language barriers. In addition, they offer mammograms quarterly through Texas Health Resources for those who struggle to pay for mammograms. If you are interested in receiving a referral for a mammogram or have any concerns surrounding breast cancer or breast health, please make an appointment with your doctor at HSNT. Together we can raise more awareness on breast cancer.
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Treatment Options For Breast Cancer
For those living with breast cancer there are a number of cancer treatment options available. An oncologist will decide which are most appropriate depending on the stage of the disease, if you have reached menopause, and other factors.
These treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, along with others. See a full list here. If the breast is removed as a result of the cancer, some women opt to have breast reconstruction or prosthesis surgery.
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.
What You Should Know About Screening:
If you have breast tissue, it is recommended that you be screened according to provincial guidelines, regardless of your gender identity or sexual identity. The Ontario Breast Screening Program provides high-quality breast cancer screening for two groups of people:
Average Risk: The OBSP recommends that most women ages 50 to 74 get checked every two years with mammography.
Ontario women ages 50 to 74 are eligible for average risk screening if they:
- have no breast / chest symptoms
- have no personal history of breast / chest cancer
- have no current breast implants
- have not had a mastectomy and
- have not had a screening mammogram within the last 11 months.
Ontario Health is working to implement a policy for the inclusion of trans and gender diverse people in its organized screening programs. More info here.
Talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner about your breast screening options, check here to find a breast screening location near you, or call 1-800-668-9304.
High Risk: The OBSP recommends that women ages 30 to 69 who are confirmed to be at high risk of getting breast cancer get checked once a year with a mammogram and breast magnetic resonance imaging through the High Risk Ontario Breast Screening Program . You can be referred into this program by your healthcare provider based on your family or medical history. Check here for more information about high risk breast screening.
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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Why Is October Breast Cancer Awareness Monthhow Did It Begin
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in October 1985, when the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries formed a partnership.
Former first lady Betty Ford helped raise awareness as a breast cancer survivor herself. She was diagnosed when her husband former President Gerald Ford served in the White House, shedding more light onto the issue.
How You Can Help
Screening, Access & TreatmentMake a one-time or monthly donation to help a woman in need. New this year, choose exactly where your donation goes. Learn more.
Education our free Breast Problems That Arent Breast Cancer eBook.
HopeProudly wear a pink ribbon during October or year-round.
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Do You Need The Flu Shot If You Got The Covid Vaccine Yes Here’s Why
Many breast cancer symptoms are invisible and hard to notice without a professional screening, but professionals recommend a monthly breast self-exam to identify any changes.
Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.
Inspiring Breast Cancer Quotes
Scroll ahead for some inspiring breast cancer quotes:
- I think cancer is a hard battle to fight alone or with another person at your side, but I will say having someone to pick you up when you fall, stand by your side through every appointment and delivery bad news, is priceless.
- Life is much better when you choose happy. Despite your uncontrollable circumstances, you have the choice to choose happy and to choose life.
- Whether youre a mother or father, or a husband or a son, or a niece or a nephew or uncle, breast cancer doesnt discriminate.
- Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment you just have to be willing to take it.
- Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasnt afraid of anything more.- Melissa Etheridge
- Cancer didnt bring to my knees, it brought me to my feet.- Michael Douglas
- Dont let breast cancer take away the motivation to achieve your dreams ~ Diana Cohen
- Its okay to be scared. Being scared means youre about to do something really, really brave ~ Mandy Hale
- Breast cancer changes you, and the change can be beautiful. Jane Cook
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