Honoring women’s health this October: National Breast Cancer Month

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Photo: AP Photo

SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2013 — Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

ACS estimates approximately 12 percent of women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

The effect of breast cancer on members of our society is staggering, and likely no one is exempt from its impact. It crosses all socioeconomic and racial lines, and knows no gender barriers.

As mothers, daughters, wives, partners, and sisters, the devastation of breast cancer affects families, friends, co-workers, and other significant relationships.

Breast cancer affects primarily women over the age of 50, but is becoming increasingly common in younger women of childbearing age.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established in 1985 with the mission of promoting mammograms as a critical component of early detection, according to Wikipedia. Early detection is a significant factor in breast cancer survival.

Pink is the color commonly associated with the cause of breast cancer, due to breast cancer’s predominant occurrence among women.

PinkForOctober.org is an organization which promotes breast cancer awareness via its creative use of the feminine color pink, providing online promotional ribbons, buttons, banners, and more. These materials are available for use by individuals, groups, organizations, and fundraisers. The organization states “Our mission is simple, to help the internet ’go pink for October’ in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.”

According to Wikipedia, the idea of using the now widely known pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer originated with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1991.

TOM WORNER/AP

As a leader in its support towards making strides against breast cancer, which includes providing education, a general understanding of breast cancer, the risk factors, prevention, current research studies, and other forms of support, they also provide a readily available helpline, www.helplinekomen.org. It may also be contacted by phone at 1-877-GoKomen.

ABC News is taking a stand against breast cancer. In its article, “Going Pink: 7 Things You Need to Know about Breast Cancer,” written by John Green, Geralyn Lucas, Tomomi Aukaiva, and Adriana Pratt, the following recommendations may be helpful: 

-Learn the facts about breast cancer.
-Find out about the different tools for detection and what is right for you.
-Talk to my doctor about my breasts, and what ongoing care may be best for me.
-Know when you should get screened for breast cancer, and follow through on these recommendations.
-Start a conversation with the women and men in your life about taking regular care of our breasts.
-Spend as much attention on your breast health as you do on my beauty treatments.

ABC News takes its recommendations a step further. It suggests all Americans transform them into a Pink Pledge to help raise awareness while reducing the impact of breast cancer on their lives.

To sign the pledge and lend your support, click: (http://abcnews.go.com/entertainment/fullpage/breast-cancer-awareness-month-pledge-book-abc-news-20304383).

Look for the following key symptoms, published by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which could be indicative of breast cancer: 

-A change in how the breast nipple feels.
-A change in the breast nipple appearance.
-Any nipple discharge.

Of course having a symptom does not mean that it is indicative of breast cancer.

However, do consider any symptoms as a warning and a call to action to immediately seek attention from a medical professional.

By following a low-fat diet, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting intake of processed foods, reducing fatty meats, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly, the risk factors for breast cancer may be significantly reduced, thereby increasing the chances for optimal health in spite of genetic or other potential risk factors.

By taking responsibility for your overall health, it is entirely possible that you might prevent yourself from becoming a breast cancer statistic, the one out of eight women who develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Laurie Edwards-Tate

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today.

Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top  Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service.  Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home.

Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. 

 Follow Laurie and AYHF  at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare

Contact Laurie Edwards-Tate

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