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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Survival RATE has come a long way: Between 1989 and 2015, death from breast cancer went down 39 percent among women in the U.S. In that time, 320,000 more people survived breast cancer. In fact, more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors live in the U.S. today.

Early detection & treatment: More people are surviving breast cancer because they’re finding the cancer sooner (a.k.a. early detection) and getting effective treatment. There are three ways we can all increase our chances of finding cancer early if we ever get it (so we can treat it as soon as possible). Those are to know our risk, know our normal and get screened regularly.

WHO IS LIKELY TO GET BREAST CANCER: Overall, non-Hispanic black women are less likely to get breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. But for women under 40, the opposite is true—non-Hispanic black women are more likely to get breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. The median age at diagnosis for black women is 59, compared to 63 for white women.

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FAMILY HISTORY may INCREASE RISK: Whether it’s due to gene mutations like BRCA1/2, similar lifestyles or other family traits, if someone in your family has had breast cancer, other members have a higher risk. That’s why it’s so important to talk to both your mother’s and father’s relatives about family health history and other factors that might affect your family’s risk.

Family history/AGE: Family history and gene mutations increase the risk of breast cancer, but they’re just a piece of the puzzle. The biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and getting older. That means we all need to take charge of our breast health, whatever our family history.

Men can get breast cancer too: Breast cancer in men is rare, but it happens. Men whose families have a history of breast cancer are at higher risk and may even benefit from regular screening. All men should talk to their doctor if they ever notice a change to their chests or nipples. It’s also important to know if a man in your family has had breast cancer since it may mean other family members have a higher risk.

YOU CAN do everything “right” & still get breast cancer: Taking care of your health is always a good idea, but there’s no magic guarantee against breast cancer. When it comes to cancer, the best defense really is a good offense. Which brings us to the most important reason to care…

TAKING charge of our breast health: There are no guarantees against breast cancer, but there are ways to reduce your risk. Getting exercise and minimizing alcohol are a great start. For new, soon-to-be, and some-day moms, breastfeeding can also reduce your risk. People at higher risk may be able to take medication or even get surgery to bring their risk down. And we can all increase our chances of surviving breast cancer if we get it by taking action to catch any problems early. That means understanding our risk, getting on a regular screening schedule and getting checked out if you ever notice a change in your breasts.

Parish Nursing Ministry

  • Questions To Ask When You’ve Been Told You Have Cancer?
  • Has the cancer spread?
  • Can my cancer be treated?
  • What are the odds my cancer can be cured?
  • What other tests or procedures will I need?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • May I say no to treatment?
  • What are the benefits to my treatment?
  • What should I anticipate during treatment?
  • What are some of the side effects of this treatment?
  • What, if anything, can I do to prevent my cancer from recurring?
  • How likely are my children to get this cancer?

Our Parish Nurse Team

Joann Andrews, Nancie Burke, Judy Balyeat and Helen Tuffy are available for health counseling, health education and emotional/spiritual support.