Think Pink for Prevention in October
Hundreds of organizations come together in October to raise awareness about a growing epidemic – breast cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of that amount, 39,000 will not survive the fight. Attach-N-Wrap encourages our readers to “think pink” in October by learning about methods of early detection, self-testing and prevention.
Early Detection is Key
Breast cancer is an overgrowth of abnormal cells in the breast that form a malignant tumor that spreads to other tissues or nearby organs. According to the American Cancer Society, the five year survival rate is significantly increased when breast cancer is diagnosed and treated in the earlier stages of development. It is recommended that women age 40 and over receive annual mammogram screenings to detect cancerous tumors. The Center for Disease Control offers a program to assist low-income and uninsured women with free and low-cost mammograms.
Breast Self-Check Examination
In addition to mammograms and annual visits, women of all ages should perform a monthly breast self-check exam to detect changes in the breast or surrounding area. Nearly 40% of diagnosed breast cancer was detected by women who found a lump while performing a self-check at home. This very important examination can be performed in three ways: in the shower, in front of a mirror, and lying down (for a step-by-step tutorial, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundationwebsite).
Here is what you should look for:
- A lump or thick firm tissue in your breast or under your arm
- A change in the size or shape of your breast
- Nipple discharge that is not breast milk
- A nipple that turns inward into the breast
- Itching, redness, scaling, dimpling or puckering of your areola or nipple
Note: Finding a lump while doing a self-check doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer. In fact, 8 out of 10 lumps are benign (not cancerous), but you should contact your doctor immediately for testing.
- Although there is no 100% method of prevention, making positive lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. This can be done by:
- Not Smoking – It has been said that smoking causes lung cancer, but there is also a link between smoking and breast cancer. This risk is increased after menopause.
- Limiting Alcohol Consumption – The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk. You should limit your consumption of any type of alcohol, including wine, to one drink per day.
- Controlling Your Weight – Breast cancer is often detected at a later stage in women who are obese, with a lower survival rate. Women should strive to keep their Body Mass Index (BMI) under 25, especially after menopause.
- Adopting a healthier lifestyle- There’s more to eating healthy and staying fit than looking great in a pair of jeans. Studies show that maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is an important measure in cancer prevention. Adding thirty minutes of exercise to your daily routine, while increasing your intake of leafy vegetables, whole grain wheat, beans and fruits, will go a long way in promoting good health.
Attach-N-Wrap salutes breast cancer survivors and supports continued research on prevention, early detection and treatment. Browse our website to view fashionable chemowraps for women who have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.Blog