Breast Cancer Awareness & Why its so Important
Today I went to Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, a charity race and walk for all those affected in someway by breast cancer. Whether it be personally as a survivor, or for the family and friends of those who have succumbed, or are still fighting this disease – thousands come out every year to downtown Toledo to show their support.
The Race for the Cure is a beautiful testament that people from all walks of life near and far, young and old, can come together for a great cause – to raise breast cancer awareness. I personally know that breast cancer that runs in my family. My own grandmother lost her fight before I was even born and I have someone else close now who is currently battling it. This only reinforces to me how important it is for all of us women to take charge of our health and become active in the prevention of breast cancer deaths. We can all do our part by participating in early detection and screening.
Did you know that 114 black women out of every 100,000 will develop breast cancer? Did you realize that mortality for black women is the highest among all ethic groups also? We have to stop what we are not doing, pause and take action in our lives to lower these numbers!! Don’t be surprised, men can develop breast cancer also, but the statistics are much lower, only 1.3 per 100,000 men.
Let me say it again, early detection is the best way to protect yourself from breast cancer. This includes periodic self breast exams – at least once a month for everyone no matter the age, clinical breast exams every three years with a mammography every year after for those the age of 40 and older. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer though, you should have a clinical breast exam every 6 to 12 months and a mammogram every year if your at least 25 years old.
Many women are frightened when it comes to what they could find, but please choose to be safe and not sorry. When doing self breast exams, you will learn how your breasts normally feel for you. Breast tissue is normally a bumpy or lumpy texture, and the pronouncement of this varies from woman to woman….
A few things to look for when examing yourself:
- breast pain that doesnt go away
- sudden nipple discharge
- dimpling or puckering
- breast changes size or shape
- hard knot or lump
- swelling, warmth, redness or change in color
- nipple pulling inward
- itchy rash or sore on nipple
Use these tips every time you check yourself. I prefer to do it in the shower, as the soap makes feeling for things feel a bit enhanced and easier for me. Either way, get involved, and pass on the word to the women in your life. For more information on breast cancer, including news on diagnosis and treatment, please visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Check out the photos below!!
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