October 3, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month

 If you've been out to supermarkets, stores, or done some online shopping lately, you may be fully aware that it is now October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Today is also the second annual "Blog for your Breasts Day". I wrote about my connection to and interest in Breast Cancer in this post last year, and it was both nerve-wrecking and relieving to share that part of me with readers.

I know many of you may be thinking that 'of course we are all aware of breast cancer by now', which may be true, but here are some other tidbits that you may not know:

  1. Breast cancer is one of the major illnesses women face after the age of 40. 
  2. Symptoms (other than a palpable lump) include: thickening and swelling of the breast, irritation or dimpling of the breast skin, pain in the nipple area, any change in size or shape of the breast, and non- lactation nipple discharge (i.e. blood).
    Mammograms are used as a method of detection. They are mainly recommended for women starting around 40 years of age. It is also highly recommended that women over the age of 50 receive a mammogram every two years. 
  3. Tips for lowering risks of breast cancer include (Source: Center for Disease Control): 
    1. Limiting your alcohol intake.
    2. Maintain a healthy weight and diet.
    3. Take note of your family's history with breast cancer. 
    4. Do self-check exams regularly. If you feel something irregular, schedule a breast ultrasound, as this may be one of the least expensive mechanisms of detection. 
Lastly, remember that for all of us, "Breast cancer is not a pink ribbon", as this pin on Pinterest has so vividly portrayed. So won't you please join me in becoming a part of Dr. Susan Love's Initiative: Army of Women (AOW). For this "Blog for Your Breasts" event, she states:
We invite you to use your voice through your blog to spread the word about the Love/Avon Army of Women. The Army of Women initiative, a program of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, funded by a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, is recruiting ONE MILLION WOMEN of all ages and ethnicities, with or without breast cancer, to sign up and participate in breast cancer research studies. If we can get ONE MILLION WOMEN involved in research, we are one step closer to understanding the cause of breast cancer and how to prevent it.
The Army of Women campaign is an online initiative, where women can sign up at www.ArmyOfWomen.org. We are dedicating ONE day to reach ONE million women to sign up for the Army of Women. Together, we can move breast cancer beyond a cure and eradicate it once and for all.
Believe it or not, cancer is a multistep cellular  process that affects everyone differently. If enough people from different racial backgrounds, ethnicities, etc sign up for AOW and participate in some of the research studies that they have going on, I'm sure researchers would be closer in finding a disease mechanism in which to attack. I promise you, you'll only receive about one email per month (a monthly update) delineating all the new things happening with AOW and any new studies that they're having that you may be able to participate in. Please consider joining Army of Women today. Not just for yourself but for our future generations.

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