October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). That means that for one month a year, major breast cancer charities and health organizations throughout the world come together to raise funds and awareness of the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as the cure for Breast Cancer. Furthermore, the campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. All of us here at Style and Tranquility Studio would like to lend our support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Here are some life-saving facts about risk, symptoms, and prevention.
Did you know?
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. It is estimated that about 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there are about 1.38 million new cases annually. Further, breast cancer claims the lives of 458,000 people each year.
Breast cancer is The Most Common cancer in women around the globe, in both developed and developing countries. Sadly, in these developing countries, the incidence has been rising steadily in recent years due to increased life expectancy, increased urbanization, and the adoption of western lifestyles.
NBCAM was founded in October 1985. The goal of the NBCAM is to promote education and prevention and using mammography as one of the most effective weapons in the fight against breast cancer.
While there have been years of research on Breast Cancer, currently, there is not sufficient evidence regarding the causes of breast cancer. And that is why early detection has become the key to stopping the disease in its tracks. When it is discovered in the early stages, in conjunction with adequate diagnosis and treatment, the chances of cure the individual case vastly improves.
How are we fighting Breast Cancer?
The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes comprehensive breast cancer control programs as part of international cancer control plans. They have recommended early detection strategies for developing and low- income countries. The hope is raising awareness around the planet and educating women about the early signs and symptoms. Plus, teaching about the importance of screening and regular monthly self-breast examinations. Unfortunately, mammography screening is very costly and is available only in countries with good healthcare infrastructures that afford long-term programs. Therefore in order to make a difference, we must spread the word about the importance of the steps women can take to be in control of their health and well-being. Early detection is vital to survival.
Here in the United States where we are fortunate enough to have access to advanced screening methods, we must stress the importance of mammograms. The recommendation is that every woman at age 40 has a baseline screening. That way, you have a healthy example to which to compare future imaging. Furthermore, we must all understand that even with the advanced screening methods, a monthly self-breast examination is crucial. Get to know your body and recognize changes. Should you discover something, see your doctor RIGHT AWAY.
What are the symptoms?
Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
Pain in any area of the breast.
Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).
A new lump in the breast or underarm.
If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.
What are the risk factors?
Being a woman.
Age: Unfortunately, the risk of Breast Cancer increases as we grow older. Nearly 80 percent of breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50.
Personal history of breast cancer. If you have had breast cancer in the past you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer again.
A family history of breast cancer (mother, grandmother, sister, etc) increases your chances of developing the disease, especially at an earlier age.
Some women with certain genetic mutations, including changes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, are at higher risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Studies are showing that other gene changes may raise breast cancer risk as well.
The older a woman is when she has her first child, the greater her risk of breast cancer.
Women who menstruate for the first time at an early age (before 12)
Women who go through menopause late (after age 55)
Women who’ve never had children may have an increased risk of Breast Cancer.
Where can I get assistance and support?
In Anne Arundel County (MD) the Rebecca Fortney Breast Center at Anne Arundel Medical Center offers support to patients and their family. They have a team of multiple cancer specialists. Their goal is working together to ensure that patients receive the most advanced and personalized care. Some of the members of their amazing team includes specialists in medical and radiation oncology, surgery (including breast and plastics reconstruction), radiology, pathology, psychiatry, oncology nursing, rehabilitation/lymphedema, genetics, nutrition, clinical trials, tumor registry, genetics, and social work.
How You Can Help
Throughout the month of October to show support and help raise awareness, Style and Tranquility Studio of Annapolis is offering pink highlights or extensions. Proceeds from these services will be donated to the Rebecca Fortney Breast Cancer! Remember, every little bit helps. You can do something to help those fighting this deadly disease. Schedule your appointment today!