Unless you have been completely been living under a pile of rocks, then you, u, You, U, and ALL of YOU are aware that the month of October is acknowledged, commemorated, and celebrated as BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (BCAM), which seeks to encourage and inspire women towards awareness, activism, education, and a proactive attitude towards taking charge of your own BREAST HEALTH.
Also, if you are a regular CRAZY COOL GROOVY!!! reader, then you also know that on Thursdays we regularly use the platform, BRALESS THURSDAY, to attempt to educate, motivate, and inspire all of you to TAKE OFF YOUR BRA, and both literally and figuratively take your BREASTS, and your BREAST HAEALTH into your own hands.
Here are a few questions that you can ask and answer for yourselves to assist you with increasing your own BREAST CANCER AWARENESS:
At any time within the last 24 hours, have you taken any time just for YOU... to Take Off You Bra?
Are you STILL wearing your bra 24/7/365?
Are able to TAKE OFF Your Bra when in the privacy of your own home?
When you go to sleep at night, are you then able to TAKE OFF YOUR BRA?
Are you aware of any SIGNS And SYMPTOMS Of BREAST CANCER?
Have you made an appointment with your physician to discuss your Family Medical History, including, any family history of BREAST CANCER?
If you are at least 40 years of age, have you contacted your physician to schedule your annual MAMMOGRAM?
If you are at least 20 years of age, do you practice your monthly BREAST SELF-EXAMINATION (BSE)?
Do you practice regular BREAST MASSAGE?
Do you Drink ALCOHOL, Smoke CIGARRETTES, or use any type of illicit drugs?
Do you have, OR; do you have a Family History of HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, or, other types of CANCER?
Are you significantly overweight (your doctor can define "significantly overweight")?
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS Of BREAST CANCER:
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass or lump or breast change checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.
Other possible symptoms of BREAST CANCER:
* Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
* Skin irritation or dimpling
* Breast or nipple pain
* Nipple retraction (turning inward)
* Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
* Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt.
Swollen lymph nodes should also be reported to your doctor.
Although any of these symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer, if you have them, they should be reported to your doctor so that he or she can find the cause.
SISTERS NETWORK, Inc. is an excellent resource for information on BLACK WOMEN & BREAST CANCER:
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African American women. Among younger women (under age 45), the mortality rate of breast cancer is higher in African Americans than in whites. The median age of diagnosis is 57 years for African American women, compared to 62 years for white women. Breast cancer incidence rates increased rapidly among African American women during the 1980s, largely due to increased detection as the use of mammography screening increased, then rates increased more gradually during the 1990s 6. In the most recent time period (2000-2009), breast cancer incidence rates increased slightly among African American women (0.7% per year) and decreased among white women (1.0% per year). The decrease in white women during this time period in part reflects the sharp decline between 2002 and 2003 that was related to a drop in use of menopausal hormones.
Breast cancers diagnosed in African American women are more likely to have factors associated with poor prognosis, such as higher grade, advanced stage, and negative hormone (estrogen [ER] and progesterone [PR]) receptor status, than those diagnosed in white women. 30 – 32 Furthermore, premenopausal African American women in particular appear to have a higher risk for TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER (ER negative, PR negative, and human epidermal growth factor receptor [HER] 2 negative) and basal-like breast cancers, which are distinct but overlapping aggressive subtypes of breast cancer that are associated with shorter survival. 30,33 Studies have shown that certain reproductive patterns that are more common among African American women (including giving birth to more than one child, younger age at menarche, early age at first pregnancy ), may be associated with increased risk of aggressive subtypes of breast cancer. 34 - 37.
BLACK WOMEN should also be aware of the TOP 10 THINGS YOU NEED To KNOW About TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER:
1.) Why TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER???
The name itself sounds troubling and the cancer is serious but the “triple negative” phrase comes from the lack of positive receptors or proteins in the body. The three receptors or proteins are estrogen, progesterone and the human epidermal growth factor. (HER). In other types of breast cancers treatments can target these proteins to either slow, stop or prevent their production. But in Triple Negative breast cancer all of these receptors are negative, meaning that type of treatment is ineffective.
2.) Only 10-20 percent of all breast cancers are triple negative Bit for African American, Latina or Caribbean women the likelihood of being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer increases to 20 to 40 percent.
3.) Triple negative is specially aggressive and more likely to reoccur
4.) Just like with anything else, if you find and treat it early treatment is more successful.
5.) It is most responsive to chemotherapy The daunting name of the this disease leads people to believe that there is no treatment for triple negative breast cancer. There is treatment it’s just different than the way you’d treat other breast cancers.
If you, or a loved one should receive a diagnosis of BREAST CANCER; The NATIONAL CANCER INSITUTE has information for you on BREAST CANCER TREATMENT OPTIONS:
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH occurs during the month of October, BUTT; you should make your own personal health, personal BREAST HEALTH, and personal BREAST CANCER PREVENTION AWARENESS a year-round project.
The next live that you save could be yours.
HAPPY TAKE OFF YOUR BRA, TAKE YOUR HEALTH, YOUR BREASTS, And YOUR LIVES INTO YOUR OWN HANDS, And TAKE CARE Of YOURSELVES For BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH BRALESS THURSDAY!!!
PEACE, LOVE, And BOUNTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BRALESS THURSDAY BLESSINGS;
women's wisdom from Smith Center on Vimeo.