Wear Your Pink Ribbon In Support Of Breast Health Awareness Month
October is breast health awareness month. This is a time when you may see many individuals wearing a pink ribbon–a reminder that prevention, early detection and research saves lives.
Ever wonder why certain treatments work for some and not others? Through research, we finally know that breast cancer is considered to be at least three diseases. The first is slow growing and may never leave the breast. The second, called invasive cancer, is believed to be moderately aggressive but can take 10 to 15 years to move beyond the breast. The third, and most aggressive, can appear even between regular mammograms and is most likely to spread to other areas of the body. This information is helping physicians target women who need aggressive treatment, while others can choose a more conservative option.
Genetic testing is now available and may help determine if your family history will make you more likely to develop cancer. Mutations on the BRCA l and BRCA 2 genes may be a predictor of risk. However, remember that 90 percent of women who develop breast cancer do not have known mutations on these genes.
Nutrition research indicates that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might offer more protection than cancer-fighting nutrients or supplements. Some studies show that vitamins A and E help. One study suggests that a low-fat diet combined with 10,000 mg fish-oil supplement may decrease the risk of breast cancer. And at least 50 studies show that alcohol plays a part in breast cancer risk. In fact, one study showed that women in their 30s who drink two or more drinks per day may have an 80 percent increased risk. indicates that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might offer more protection than cancer-fighting nutrients or supplements. Some studies show that vitamins A and E help. One study suggests that a low-fat diet combined with 10,000 mg fish-oil supplement may decrease the risk of breast cancer. And at least 50 studies show that alcohol plays a part in breast cancer risk. In fact, one study showed that women in their 30s who drink two or more drinks per day may have an 80 percent increased risk.
Research regarding activity examined the exercise habits of women. It suggests that regular physical activity decreases the risk of breast cancer.
Cigarette studies indicated that some women may be susceptible to the carcinogens in cigarettes, or that smoking alters certain hormone levels, which may affect a woman’s risk. The message here is, don’t smoke.
For early detection, The National Cancer Institute says that regular mammograms can reduce the death rate from breast cancer by 30 percent in women over 50 and 17 percent in women under 50.
Today we have needle biopsy technology which creates just a small puncture, versus the previous surgical incision, which heals faster with less scarring.
Visit our Mammography site for information on our mobile van.
Treatments have improved using radiation, lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy or a combination. Bone marrow transplant, which was used for late stage cancer treatment, is now being performed on women at earlier stages to be more effective.
The fight against cancer is now a national concern. The Federal Government cancer support programs have grown to over $600 million for the fight against cancer. This is an increase of about $500 million since 1990. Also, recent legislation protects those with group insurance policies from discrimination based on preexisting conditions or genetic test results.
For more information about the Health Alliance cancer programs and research protocols, call the Health Alliance Call Center. For information on how to do a breast self exam, go to the Alliance Women’s Health web page. And….don’t forget to wear your pink ribbon.
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