October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening and early detection and treatment options available to women and men who are diagnosed with one of the many forms of breast cancer.
Over the years, a loop of pink ribbon has come to symbolize breast cancer awareness, and today the image of a pink ribbon can be found on many products, from apparel to dishware to office supplies. But there’s more to awareness than just wearing pink.
The CDC reports over 200,000 woman and 2,000 men in the United States were diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. Breast Cancer survival rates have been increasing due to the great strides made by educating the public, yearly mammograms for women, and early detection and screening programs. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly screening mammograms starting at age 45 and continuing for as long as you are in good health. However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms for women between the ages of 50 and 74 every two years.
October 18th is National Mammogram Day, which is a great day to schedule your appointment if you are behind.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and easily cured, which is why it’s very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting breast cancer at an early stage. When breast cancer has grown to a size that can be felt, the most common physical sign is a painless lump. Sometimes breast cancer can spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause a lump or swelling, even before the original breast tumor is large enough to be felt. Less common signs and symptoms include breast pain or heaviness; persistent changes to the breast, such as swelling, thickening, or redness of the breast’s skin; and nipple abnormalities such as spontaneous discharge (especially if bloody), erosion, inversion, or tenderness. It is important to note that pain (or lack thereof) does not indicate the presence or the absence of breast cancer. Any persistent abnormality in the breast should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society 2016
How many women alive today have ever had breast cancer?
At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
How can you get involved?
Join the fight against breast cancer with us! Your support helps raise awareness and funds that help people reduce their risk of cancer, provide free programs and services for breast cancer patients and fund groundbreaking breast cancer research.Your participation also helps our advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, make sure breast cancer remains a priority issue for elected officials.
We are turning our social media pages pink all month long to spread awareness and to support those lives that have been affected by such an invasive disease. If you would like to donate to support breast cancer research please visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website here: https://Users/redbranchmedia/Documents/Websites/triagemulti.dev.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-donations