By: Janae Bailey via. NSO
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is an annual campaign whose mission is to raise awareness about breast cancer (National Breast Cancer Foundation, 2016). Heightening awareness allows for the dissemination of knowledge, the enhancement
of understanding, and most importantly, the elimination of the stigma of being a victim.
Raising awareness encourages people suffering from the disease to move forward; it also enlightens family members, friends, and the public about the disease. Since it’s important to stay informed, here’s what you need to know!
• What is breast cancer? Breast cancer begins when the cell grow out of control (American Cancer Society, 2017). The tumor is cancerous if the cells grow into surrounding tissues and can spread to distant parts of the body (American Cancer Society, 2017).
• Who gets breast cancer? Breast cancer occurs mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer too (American Cancer Society, 2017).
• Risk factors for breast cancer. A risk factor is a condition that affects the likelihood of getting a disease (American Cancer Society, 2017). Risk factor for breast cancer include being a women, age 55 years and older, inheritance of the breast cancer genes, of Caucasian or African-American decent, dense breast tissue, and many more (American Cancer Society,
• Is breast cancer preventable? Unfortunately, there are no absolute prevention measures to take to avoid the disease (American Cancer Society, 2017). However, healthy lifestyle choices, such as healthy diet, regular exercise, limiting or avoiding alcohol, and avoiding tobacco use, may decrease the risk of occurrence (American Cancer Society, 2017). Women and men should have regular breast cancer screenings for early detection of the disease regardless of risk factors (American Cancer Society, 2017). Self-breast
exam are also highly encouraged.
• Signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Signs and symptoms include swelling to part or all of the breast, skin irritation, breast or nipple pain, nipple retraction, redness/scaliness/thickening of the breast or nipple, nipple discharge (American Cancer Society, 2017).
• Treatment. Treatment of breast cancer varies on the stage of the cancer, the location of the cancer (can spread), and the demographics of the individual (American Cancer Society, 2017). Treatment options may involve surgery, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy (American Cancer Society, 2017).
There is a 1 in 8 chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime (American Cancer Society, 2017). This means that the fight against cancer is ruthless, apathetic, and ongoing; and with more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors, victory is in our favor.
For more information on breast cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org or the Breast Cancer Awareness Month Foundation at www.nationalbreastcancer.org
Stay tuned for Novembers’ article on cultural health.
Janae Bailey, on behalf of the Nursing Student Organization (NSO)
For more information regarding NSO, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.