October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means you’ll be seeing a lot of information about detecting breast cancer, who is at risk, the stages and types, as well as treatment.
You’ll also see a number of fundraising events like the 2019 Komen Race for the Cure which was held in Toledo on Sept. 29. That event raised approximately $800,000!
Fortunately, over the years, early detection and improved treatments mean that when breast cancer is detected early at the localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent.
Women should perform self-exams at least once a month.
John Hopkins Medical center says that “40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.”
Here’s a link on how to perform a breast self-exam.
Did you know that men should also perform regular exams as well?
NationalBreastCancer.org says that each year “an estimated 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die.” Men have a higher mortality rate with breast cancer than women do. This is primarily because awareness among men is less. Plus, they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment, the organization says.
Men should watch for a lump under the nipple and areola. Both men and women should watch for changes in size, lumps, dimpling or puckering, inversion of the nipple, redness or scaliness, and any discharge or secretions.
You should consult with a doctor if you have any of these indicators, or notice any changes.
Doing regular self-exams only takes a few minutes. To help you remember, partner up with a friend or family member and remind each other every month. Parents, too, should show their children (at an appropriate age) how to do a self-exam. This is an important way to start a life-long practice that can lead to early detection and better outcomes.
For more information, you can check out the following websites: