October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There’s no better time to learn more about this disease that devastates the lives of so many. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time to help spread awareness and help fight the disease. If we all learn about it, we can do a lot to help.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in woman in the US. Men can get breast cancer, but it’s one tenth the rate compared to woman1. The older woman get, the risks for breast cancer increase. One in eight woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. There is roughly over 250,000 new cases of breast cancer every year with over 40,000 deaths a year related to breast cancer2.
Making people aware is one of the best ways to decrease deaths related to breast cancer. Woman should find out their family history to see if they should conduct frequent mammograms. Genetic testing is also a great opportunity for early diagnosis and life-saving treatment. Woman who don’t smoke and follow healthy habits like diet and exercise are implementing preventive measures that can help reduce the risk.
If you were to get diagnosed with breast cancer there are two options to treat the cancer. You can receive local treatments like surgery and radiation and systemic treatments like chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.
Surgery seeks to remove as much breast cancer as possible though lumpectomy (tumor removal), mastectomy (breast removal), and/or lymphadenectomy (lymph node removal). Radiation therapy is often prescribed in concert with other treatments. This involves the use of high-energy rays to pinpoint a specific area in an effort to eliminate any cancer cells left behind by other treatments3.
Chemotherapy drugs may be administered orally to target cancer cells throughout the body. Despite side effects, chemotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for eliminating breast cancer and preventing the formation of new tumors. Hormone therapies often follow other treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence, while targeted drugs may stop the growth of certain types of cancer cells even in cases where chemotherapy is ineffective4.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to educate ourselves and help out in the community when we can. We can make donations to help fund and further develop breast cancer research to hopefully one day we can eradicate breast cancer. We can volunteer, participate in charity walks (when they return in person) and support the cancer community.
This year because of the pandemic, there are virtual charity walks and drive by events happening all over South Florida, Tampa and Orlando.
Here are some events you can get involved with:
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