Save Second Base

20 Oct

I would like to talk a little more about breast cancer. Like all cancer, breast cancer does not discriminate.  It doesn’t care about your race, economic background and even sometimes age. Just this week E! News Anchor Giuliana Rancic revealed that she is in the early stages of battling breast cancer and she was only 36 years old when she learned of her diagnosis.[1]  The good news is that if discovered early, breast cancer patients have an 88% survival rate.[2]

So, what’s next?  The American Cancer Society states that “beginning in their 20s, women should be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and report any new breast changes to a health professional as soon as they are found.” [3] One way to do this is to perform breast self exams. Taking a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once per month can make a lifetime of difference. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous[4] A study of women undergoing breast cancer surgery found that despite having had frequent screening mammograms, about 40 percent of breast cancers were discovered as the result of lumps or suspicious changes found during breast exams by the women themselves.[5]

You might be asking, “how do you do a self breast exam?” Well good question. There are some great resources online. I think these two are some of the most helpful:

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps.jsp http://www.livestrong.com/article/15988-steps-performing-self-breast-exam/

MammogramsThe National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) recommends that women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them.[6]Well thanks, NCI but how do I know if I am at a higher risk? Some examples of things that may make you “high risk” are: a family history of breast cancer, past radiation treatment and dense breasts. Check out this link to view the American Cancer Society and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) screening recommendations for women at higher risk of breast cancer. Ultimately this is a decision you should make with a medical professional.http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/RecommendationsforWomenwithHigherRisk.html#Figure3-5

Finally, where should you go to get a mammogram? Well it’s as easy as picking up the phone or clicking on the internet. Contact the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/  or 1-800-4-CANCER) or the American College of Radiology (http://www.acr.org/  or 1-800-227-5463) to find a certified mammography provider. If you want to support breast cancer research go to my entry “Think Pink” find great products that you can purchase and help support breast cancer charities.

[2] http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-survival-by-stage

[3] http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/MoreInformation/BreastCancerEarlyDetection/breast-cancer-early-detection-acs-recs-bse

[4] http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/about-breast-cancer/breast-self-exam.aspx

 

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2 Responses to “Save Second Base”

  1. alison nakash October 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Very informative for everyone!

  2. Cynthia October 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Cynthia – Very informative, Allison. You’re posts are always enjoyable and interesting.

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