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OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is important to raise awareness about this type of cancer because early intervention can save lives.  In the U.S., approximately 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. Statistics indicate that in the United States alone, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.  For women, breast cancer death rates are higher than for those of any other cancer, except for lung cancer. Most of us know a family member or friend who is fighting or is a survivor of this disease. Unfortunately, most of us also know someone who has lost the fight.

breast cancer

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Signs of breast cancer can include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, skin dimpling, nipple fluid, or red scaly skin. The spread of the disease includes bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, yellow skin, and shortness of breath. One can recover from breast cancer if it is caught in time.  Breast cancer does not need to lead to disability or death.

Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female. Although, in 2017, 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed  in men. Other factors that can contribute to developing this cancer include obesity, drinking alcohol, radiation, late-life pregnancy or no pregnancy.

GENETIC TESTING

Additionally, other factors include genetics, family history of breast cancer, and hormone replacement therapy during menopause.  Importantly, breast cancer may come from specific genes. These genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. You can obtain genetic testing to determine if you have the gene. There are many organizations that offer support, if you are considering genetic testing. See the list below for a few examples.

Bright Pink
Offers online social support for young women considering genetic testing for BRCA1, BRCA2 and other inherited gene mutations related to breast cancer.
www.brightpink.org

Department of Health and Human Services – Affordable Care Act
Find information on health coverage for genetic testing and counseling under the Affordable Care Act.
www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/statebystate.html

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
Provides online and telephone social support for people considering genetic testing for BRCA1, BRCA2 and other inherited gene mutations related to breast cancer.
www.facingourrisk.org/

Myriad Financial Assistance Program
Provides financial assistance for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing for people who qualify.
www.myriad.com/myriad-cares-2/financial-assistance-program/

National Cancer Institute – BRCA Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing
Find information on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing.
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA

SPREAD THE WORD AND TAKE ACTION

Death rates have been decreasing from breast cancer since 1989. Much of the decrease, however, is due to treatment advances. Of course, death rates are also decreasing due to better awareness. Increased awareness leads to earlier detection of the disease. Monthly self-exams are important, as is obtaining a mammogram if your doctor recommends it. Too many families have lost loved ones to this disease.  Use this month to donate to the cure for cancer. Or, run a 5K and raise money for the cause. Better yet, get a mammogram and encourage your family members and friends to do the same. Finally, you can donate to research to stop this disease. Below please find some of the places where you can donate to prevent breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Foundation 

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation 

Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation  

OTHER WAYS TO GIVE

Use this month to spread the word about stopping this disease. Additionally, make sure that you take the time to perform a self-exam and get a mammogram. Encourage all of the women you know to do the same. If you have any concern that you may have breast cancer, see a doctor. If you have questions about whether or not you qualify for disability benefits, call or contact Cannon Disability Law. Our law firm wants to see the end of this disease. We are sure you want the same. Donate and take action today.

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