The month of October is recognized as breast cancer awareness month. I’m sure many of you are like me. You, personally, know someone who is a survivor of breast cancer or who has succumbed to breast cancer. For me, the evils of breast cancer has touched my mom and aunts. Some are survivors, and sadly, I’ve lost loved ones to this disease. This month, I dedicate my blog to all those who are currently undergoing treatment, those who are survivors and those who have left us here on earth.
Breast cancer is not a disease that only affects women. Men can be diagnosed as well. According to http://www.cancer.net, there will be 325,010 women and 2,620 men diagnosed in 2020. There is an estimation of 42,690 deaths (women and men). After lung cancer, breast cancer is the largest cause of death of women. This is why early detection is important.
Each month, women are advised to do monthly breast examinations to detect any abnormalities. The suggested time is a few days after her monthly menstruation begins. If you aren’t sure how you should perform your breast examinations, go to http://www.spottingcancer.org. The website provides step by step instructions on how to do the breast examinations. The reason the examinations are important is because you can detect when you feel a lump that was not there the month before. Get to know your body. The more you know your body, the better it is.
Here are a few statistics on breast cancer. In the history of breast cancer, there have been 3.5 million women diagnosed as of January 2020. African American women, under the age of 45, are more likely to receive a diagnosis than Caucasian women. Statistics have shown African American women are also more likely to die from the disease. The chances of being diagnosed doubles if there is a mother, sister, or daughter that was previously diagnosed. For the 85% that are diagnosed with no family history, it occurs due to genetic mutation (http://www.breastcancer.org).
There are a few things you can do to help decrease your chances of getting breast cancer. Doctors advise each individual to be aware of her/his body mass index. Being overweight increases chances of contracting the disease. One should try to maintain a healthy diet. It is recommended exercise for at least 45-60 minutes several times a week. Other suggestions are the reduction of alcohol and smoking consumption.
Unfortunately, there is no 100% way to totally control the prevention of being diagnosed with breast cancer. You might do everything single thing the doctor says and still be diagnosed. You can receive your annual mammograms as doctors suggest and still be diagnosed. Sadly, there will be some deaths. These losses hurt. Death leaves a void in the lives of family that are left on earth. All they have are memories of their loves ones.
Thankfully, a woman or man that receive those dreaded words “you have breast cancer” does not mean your life will end in death. As statistics have shown, the chances of survival are much higher than it is to die from the disease. Technology and research are better than it was years ago. There is hope. If you are reading this today, you might have cancer or know someone that is going through chemo at this moment. Be encouraged. Surround yourself with family and friends that will support you. Don’t give up. Keeping fighting and tell cancer to that “it” can’t have your life. Let cancer know you will win. Keep the faith and never give up.