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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on October 14, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to bring awareness of the disease.  There is still a need for promoting education and research efforts for breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?  Breast cancer is a term that refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast.  Cancer is a result of mutation, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of healthy cells. Overtime, mutations can activate certain genes and "turn off" others in a cell.  This changed cell could now have the ability to continually divide without control, producing more "rogue" cells just like it and forming a tumor.  Tumors can be benign (not dangerous) or maglignant (potential danger exists).  Benign tumors are not considered concerous as they are close to normal in appearance and grow slowly.  They don't spread to other tissue or other parts of the body.  Left unchecked, malignant cells can eventually spread beyong the original tumor to other body parts.

Did you know that:

  • 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime (it's the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women)
  • Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women (Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women)
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,600 men will be diagnosed (approx. 440 will die each year)
  • Some women are at higher risk than others because of their personal or family medical history or because of certain changes in their genes.
    • 5-10% of cancers are due to an inherited abnormality
    • 85-90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that occur as a result of the aging process and the "wear and tear" of life in general

On Average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.

There are steps everyone can take to help reduce your risk of getting cancer; such as, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintain a healthy body weight, avoid toxic activities (unnecessary stress, exposure to carcinogens, smoking, alcohol, etc.)

Make sure you do regular self-examinations and schedule checkups with your physician. For women between the age of 40-45, the American Cancer Society recommend getting a mammogram. The main expert you should consult with is your own doctor, who will consider your particular situation and medical history to determine when is best for you to start getting a mammogram. Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, know that it is not your/their fault for developing breast cancer.  Blaming yourself/themselves that breast cancer happened because of something you/they did. or anyone else did, is not productive.  You are not alone in this. 

Here are a few resources...

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37136.php

http://www.breastcancer.org/

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

http://www.hisbreastcancer.org/

http://www.cancer.org/


Love & Blessings,

Liz

The Fit & Happy Diva




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