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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS

The Greenville Standard

Paint the town pink! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to BreastCancer.org, one out of every eight women will get breast cancer. This year alone, 40,610 women in the US are expected to die from breast cancer, and each year nearly 310,000 women will be diagnosed with new cases of it. While only one percent of those new cases are in men, that still means one man in one thousand will be diagnosed with breast cancer. So, how can a person beat the odds? The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., website states that education and early detection are the key. “Breast cancer can’t be prevented,” the foundation’s website states, “but you can take three important steps to help detect it earlier.” Those three steps include breast self-exams, a well-woman exam, and mammograms. The website includes a link that provides a pamphlet titled “3 Steps to Early Detection.” It is free and can increase a person’s knowledge on how to find breast cancer before it spreads. The pamphlet states that monthly breast self-exams will help women become familiar with their breasts, which will aid them if they detect anything out of the ordinary. Women should certainly pay attention to any lumps and changes in their breasts, but they should also seek medical help should they notice any changes in the size of the breast, dimpling or puckering of the skin around the breast, nipples turned inwards toward the breast, discharge from the nipple, or scaly, red, or swollen skin on or around the breast. A well-woman exam should be done at least once a year with a gynecologist. As for mammograms, it is now encouraged that women 40 years of age and older get a mammogram once a year. Women who have family histories of breast cancer should seek a physician’s advice at an even earlier age. For even more information about early detection, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., at http:// www.nationalbreastcancer.org/early-detection-of-breast- cancer.

 

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