Breast Cancer Awareness

October 10, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness by Dr. Melody Fortune

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There has been a decline in breast cancer rates nationally, but the level of decline is not seen in certain ethnic and racial groups. The literature suggest that more White women have preventive breast screenings at the recommended intervals, take advantage of the latest technology, and have social connectedness, thus impacting the disparity that exists for African American women and breast cancer. There are no known causes of breast cancer, but there are certain risk factors that increase one’s risk of developing breast cancer; having a family history of breast cancer, having had a personal history of breast cancer, diets higher in fat, obesity, never having children, having children after age 30, and early menarche.

People have different warning signs for breast cancer. Listed below are some of the warning signs of breast cancer:

  • Lump in the breast or underarm (armpit);
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast;
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin;
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast;
  • Puckering or pain in the nipple area;
  • Bloody or serous nipple discharge;
  • Any changes in the size or the shape of the breast;
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

The theme this month is “Fall in Love”, therefore if you love someone encourage them to follow the recommended screening intervals as they relate to breast health. If you love someone, take them to the doctor. If you love someone, urge them to take care of their health. Early detection is the best protection.

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