Hello women of truth!  Please join me in sending prayers of healing and comfort for the folks in South Carolina. Lord knows how much we can bear. In this vein, I want to talk to women about the importance of self-knowledge. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important that we do our part as women to learn about our own bodies and do the work that will ensure our continued good health.

33996336-doctor-with-breast-cancer-awareness-message-for-awareness-monthHow many of you do self breast ca exams? Do you know the best times to do them? I’m going to share a few facts about women and men breast cancers in hopes that you become proactive and armed with the know how that can lead you to recognize and help prevent cancer in your own life and, in the lives of those you love.

According to information gathered from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), breast cancers are usually found in women 50 years or older, but younger women have been diagnosed and died from breast cancer. In fact,11% of new cases found from recent studies indicates that women younger than 45 are diagnosed with the disease.

In 2012, there are findings that white women had the highest risk of getting breast cancers, but more black women will most likely die from it. Why? Because of delayed treatment, social-economic conditions and lack of knowledge about the disease. Men are not excluded from getting breast cancer either, although the percentage is low for men at only 1%. Let’s have the conversation.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the breast. These abnormal cells can attack healthy cells and mutate to other areas of the body through the bloodstream via lymph nodes found under the armpit.

What are some contributing factors that can lead to breast cancers?

Doctors usually ask about your history to find out if anyone in your immediate family have or ever had cancer of any kind. This includes your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and even cousins.

They want to know if you are a smoker or if you abuse alcohol. Consider that you are at risk if you’re obese or, have taken combined estrogen and progesterone therapy over an extended time.

Other factors for women that are significant in the incidence of breast cancer includes:

Early periods

Late menopause

Dense breasts

Late childbearing

You can be an advocate for your own good health by doing personal body observations and making note of anything that is not your ‘new’ normal. Doing periodic self breast exams, preferably right after your period, is recommended by doctor and health care officials. Lying on your back with your arm raised over your head or while in the shower with your arm raised as you gently massage your breasts with the fingers of your free hand in a circular motion, is conducive to locating an unfamiliar ‘lump’ or ‘bump’ in your breast.

You can also assess your breasts in the mirror before your bath. Look for wrinkling or dimpling or a sunken appearance around the breasts. Is there drainage from your nipple? Is there an odor or odd color that could be different, even for  the breastfeeding mom?  Every woman must stay body vigilant by paying attention to their breasts shape, skin, nipple and contour.

If, during your self breast exams, your fingers ‘feel’ something that’s odd or not right, most definitely make an appointment with your doctor. If you have no medical or healthcare insurance, look for free clinics and healthcare facilities in and around your area. Remember, don’t notseek medical attention because of lack of medical insurance. “Where there’s a will-there’s a way!”

For more news about breast cancer, go to www.gynecologyintitute.com

Blessings and good health!

If you want to read more health-related articles or have personal health concerns you’d like to address at Authentic Woman, let me know via email or comment and I will put my 30 plus nursing skills to good use to help bring awareness.

Image of cancerous breast

** HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 6 P.M., EDT **These undated images, provided by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, shows a standard mammogram, left, and molecular breast imaging (MBI) from a study performed on a 45-year-old patient in the clinic's screening of women with dense breasts. The mammogram was interpreted as being negative while the MBI image shows a cancer indicated by the arrow. (AP Photo/The Mayo Clinic)

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