Breast Cancer Awareness Can Lead the Way to Survival
More than 30 years ago, October was designated “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” (NBCAM) in the US, with pink being its official color. This collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies came together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information about the disease, and provide greater access to services.
Today, NBCAM has taken on a life of its own, with many organizations, groups and individuals across the world raising awareness during the month of October through educational programs, community fundraisers, and the wearing of pink. The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. It is the second most common cause of death in all women.
Research shows that women between ages 65 and 80 are at the greatest risk of developing breast cancer. More than 50 percent of all breast cancer cases in the US are females age 60 to 80, the age group that also accounts for more than 70 percent of deaths from breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that a woman living in the US has a 1-in-8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer in men is rare, with a 1.3-in-100,000 lifetime risk; however, the incidence rate has increased slightly since the late 1970s.
A primary goal of NBCAM is to promote early detection of breast cancer in women. Studies show that although early detection cannot prevent breast cancer, the earlier the disease is identified, the easier it is to treat. There are two schools of thought about how often women should have mammograms. Some physicians encourage annual mammograms after age 40, while others support biannual mammograms at that age. It is important to discuss this with a personal physician to determine the best route for each individual.
Everyone’s breasts are different and can change with age and at different times of the month. “Wear It Pink” encourages women to get to know how their breasts normally look and feel, so it will be easier to detect changes. If unusual changes are noticed, it is important to get them checked by a doctor.
Mayo Clinic indicates that signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- A newly inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
- Redness or pitting of the skin over a breast, like the skin of an orange
If a woman finds a lump or other change in her breast—even if a recent mammogram was normal—she should make an appointment with her doctor for prompt evaluation.
Clinicians encourage all women to perform monthly, breast self-examinations, preferably at the same time of each month. Follow this link to learn more about performing a breast self-exam.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of detecting breast cancer early. Make a difference—find out what’s happening in your community and help spread the word.
This October, Sagora Senior Living communities are promoting breast cancer awareness by hosting special events and raising funds to support research.
Adante Independent Living, San Antonio, Texas will host a PINK Party, Thursday, October 11th to support Breast Cancer Awareness. They will serve pink margaritas, pink cupcakes and cookies. Breast Cancer Survivors will be recognized and honored.
The Brennity at Melbourne in Florida, named October, “31 Shades of Pink,” encouraging everyone to wear a different shade of pink each day of the month. Associates who would like to wear a pink top must donate a dollar to do so. Pink cocktails, which residents may purchase for $1, which also will be donated to breast cancer research.
The Brennity at Tradition in Port St. Lucie Fla. held PINK day for Breast Cancer Awareness on October 3rd. Themed pink items included pink cocktails, pink cotton candy social, and pink bingo with wild photos to follow. All residents, associates and visitors were encouraged to wear pink.
Heritage Place Senior Living in Burleson, Texas has a whole month of events planned to benefit the local breast cancer center. Residents will craft items for center patients, including inspirational pink pumpkins and embellished pink ribbons. The community will feature an education program about breast cancer, October 10th.
Lyndale Edmond Senior Living in Oklahoma understands how important a correctly fitting bra is for good breast health. The community partnered with Dillard’s to host a bra-fitting event for residents.
Written by Becky Deo
October 4, 2018