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Monday, October 2, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Month


I’m a breast cancer survivor. I’ve had it twice. The first time I was forty-two years old. So October is an important month for me and all the other survivors. There are more and more of us each year, thanks to improved research and more effective treatments. According to the SEER database the overall five year survival rate for all types of breast cancer patients is 89.7%.
I found this brief history of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Wikipedia. In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as it’s symbol, though this was not the first time the ribbon was used to symbolize breast cancer:  a 68-year-old California woman named Charlotte Haley, whose sister, daughter, and granddaughter had breast cancer, had distributed peach-color ribbons to call attention to what she perceived as inadequate funding for research. In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation  had  handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness through education on symptoms and treatment. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will help with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and a reliable, permanent cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Symptoms

Just a reminder about the symptoms:
-changes in the shape of the nipple
-breast pain that doesn’t go away after your next period
-a new lump that doesn’t go away after your next period
-nipple discharge from one breast that is clear, red, brown, or yellow
-unexplained redness, swelling, skin irritation, itchiness, or rash on the breast
-swelling or a lump around the collarbone or under the arm

 A lump that is hard with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous.

And with men it can also include a thickening of the breast tissue and a nipple that retracts or turns inward.
Don’t forget to wear your pink ribbon this month.
 


3 comments:

  1. At 30 years old, I had the discharge and then tests which showed something but not enough to be sure...so I had a duct removed. I had issues emotionally afterward. It's hard to not identify yourself with your breasts. But I'm glad to say that things are fine now.

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    Replies
    1. I agree about the emotions. And yes we do identify with our breasts. They're a part of our body. I'm glad everything turned out well and you're doing good.

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  2. It's so good to read such a positive blog. Here's to even more awareness of breast cancer through people like you.

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