October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As your healthcare providers, we want to advocate as much as possible for your well-being. To bring light to the most common cancer in women worldwide, it is important to understand the significance of early detection of breast cancer. Early detection can save lives and is essential to increasing survival rates. When caught early breast cancer is beatable! You should be examining your breasts at least monthly because you will be the first to notice any changes that occur.
According to USA Today, Mathew Knowles (67), the father of celebrity singer, Beyonce’, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the male. He ignored the sign of bloody nipple discharge by attributing it to working out or new medications. However, after three days of noticing blood on his clothes, he decided to get this finding evaluated. In doing so, he saved his life and his breast cancer was caught in a very early stage. The takeaway is do not ignore your body! Breast cancer is very rare in males, but is overwhelmingly common in females. Because of the prevalence, screening mammography is also necessary to incorporate once women reach the age 40. If you have a first degree relative affected by breast cancer, the recommendation for imaging begins even earlier. With Mr. Knowles diagnosis, Beyonce’ is at higher risk to develop breast cancer and she should start having screening mammography now which is earlier than the recommended screening guidelines (Beyonce’ is 38).
Even though mammography is the gold standard when it comes to breast cancer screening, some women refuse this recommendation. Thermography is another trusted option for women. Not many people know about thermography, but it is another screening technique that detects abnormal thermal patterns on the surface of the skin. It does not involve compression of breasts, is non-invasive, and does not have radiation exposure.
Be proactive. Stay up to date with your annual exams. Perform your self breast exams. Do not wait for a problem to occur. With regular screening and understanding your risks, women are more likely to detect, treat, and cure breast cancer. Preventative care is HEALTHcare.