October is breast cancer awareness month. This is a subject that is close to me as I have had several friends and family who have been affected by this all too common cancer. This can cause pain, illness and even death, and it is not limited to just women. Men, although more rarely, can also develop breast cancer, making it something that everyone should care about.
There are a lot of questions that people ask about breast cancer awareness month and breast cancer itself. Hopefully I can help answer some of these questions and provide you the support and information that you are looking for.
It amazes me that breast cancer awareness month is generally in October, all over the world. There is a reason for this. The very first breast cancer project was done in 1985, in October to be specific. This project was between the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries. Now we celebrate the whole month through awareness and recognition of those who have beaten cancer and those who have lost their battle.
Only in October?
October is not the only month that breast cancer should be thought about. There are many different fundraisers and educational seminars that help find a cure for breast cancer throughout the year. These programs are often posted at doctor’s offices, through places of employment and advertised on the television, paper or radio.
The Pink Ribbons found their way into the world through the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1991. This was the first year that this foundation handed out pink ribbons to those participants who were in aNew York Cityrace for cancer survivors. A couple years later, in 1993 Evelyn Lauder, from Estee Lauder created the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and used the pink ribbon as the symbol of the foundation.
What is Breast Cancer?
This is a malignant tumor that is located within the soft tissue of the breast. This tumor begins as a small cluster of cells but grows and invades other spots of the body if it is left untreated. This is generally thought to be a women’s disease, but men can get this cancer as well. This cancer most often starts in the lining of the ducts that create milk during lactation.
How Do They Detect Breast Cancer?
The single most effective way to detect breast cancer is to do a breast exam every month. While this is not a definitive way to detect breast cancer, it is the most frequently done and it can be done at home. For the best way to complete a self breast exam, please click here. If you find a lump or thickening, or any change for that matter, report that to your doctor. He or she will often suggest a mammogram or sonogram to determine if there is anything there. If there is, a biopsy may be necessary. Early detection can save your life and make the cancer easier to treat.
How Do They Treat Breast Cancer?
There are many different treatment options for breast cancer. These can range from simple surgery, known as a lumpectomy, to a mastectomy, and all the way to chemotherapy and radiation. The treatment options vary based upon the type of cancer, where it is located, if it has spread, the health of the patient and other factors. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a doctor about any breast changes that you have noticed.
Need More Information?
Here are some links to other educational websites that can help you be an educated patient and sponsor. After all, education is half the battle in defeating cancer.