Tuesday, February 15, 2011
BUILDING BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Since this is an issue that affected my family, I'm going to try and help build some awareness about breast cancer. In 2008, my beautiful Mother, passed away from metastatic breast cancer. By the time she was diagnosed, the disease had taken hold. Early detection is key to your survival! I can't stress that enough. Most of this information, I posted back in 2008, while my mom was still going through treatment. I decided to repost it as a way of getting back into the subject matter. Warning! Some of the pictures contained in this post are graphic and show how really ugly the disease is and how it affects a woman's breast.
The statistics are out there--and severely startling!!! Every year 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those 200,000 women over 40,000 women die! Pretty depressing, huh?
Early detection of breast cancer is the key to survival. I know I said that already, but it bears repeating! Monthly self breast examinations and a yearly mammogram can save your life. The National Breast Cancer Foundation states that if a lump is found early and treated, the five year survival rate is 96%.
Those are pretty good odds, wouldn't you say? And speaking from experience of having a loved one who suffered from breast cancer, if my mother would have sought treatment sooner, she might even be alive today.
I found this great link. All you have to do is "click" on this button on the home page and then the sponsors will donate free mammograms to those that can't afford them! What a great deal that is! And so easy! Just a click of your mouse!
Also taken from this link are these facts:
-Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
-One woman in eight who lives to age 85 will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
-Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
-Seventy percent of all breast cancers are found through breast self-exams. Not all lumps are detectable by touch. We recommend regular mammograms and monthly breast self-exams.
-Eight out of ten breast lumps are not cancerous. If you find a lump, don't panic-call your doctor for an appointment.
-Mammography is a low-dose X-ray examination that can detect breast cancer up to two years before it is large enough to be felt.
Here is a picture of a woman where the cancer has eaten up the tissue. Not sure what stage or type of breast cancer this is. But see how the tumors go up into her arm pit? She has definite lymph node involvement. This is extremely painful as you can imagine...
Again, here we have a very large tumor growing. This is to the left of the woman's breast, and there is a pretty good chance the lymph nodes are involved here, too.
In later posts, I will detail how to do a proper self breast exam. It is the tiny hardened nodules you need to be looking for signs of when you palpate (feel) your breast.
If you see anything irregular, CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!!! What seems urgent to us, is not urgent to doctor's office staff. It does get frustrating when you want to make an appointment for something and you can't get in for weeks at a time. Then, you get in to see your primary doctor and he refers you to a "specialist" and it takes even longer! Time will be of the essance, so please...don't delay!