Breast Cancer Awareness – More than an October Awareness

October in the Truckee Meadows in a beautiful time of year.  It’s the time of year when our special part of the world prepares to go dormant and rest before Spring.  The rich array of fall colors will fade away and prepare to bloom into the bright spring palette of flowers and foliage we so enjoy.  It is also the time of year when we pay homage to our breast cancer patients.  Over the years these patients have taught us so much about courage, love, and the ability to rise from the ashes like a phoenix, fully transformed and uniquely beautiful – like our Spring Season.

These patients hold a special place in our hearts.  Over the years, so many women have entrusted their breast reconstruction surgery to us.  We hope one day that are services will no longer be needed for breast reconstruction surgery due to breast cancer.  Until that day comes and there is a cure, we will keep fighting for these patients.

Early detection is still the best chance of survival.  Breast cancer typically has no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable.  Therefore, screening is critically important.  Breast cancer is most commonly detected during mammography screening, or after an individual notices a lump or change in the breast.  According to the American Cancer Society, in the US, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women and 2,710 cases will be diagnosed among men.  This means in the United States during a lifetime, 1 in 8 women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 1 in 39 women will die from breast cancer (3%).

Risk factors include, but are not limited to – age, race/ethnicity, heredity/family history, diet, alcohol consumption, and tobacco consumption.  Although the risk factors may change between individuals with this disease, the one thing all have in common is that their survival rate increases substantially with early detection.  Routine monthly self-examination beginning at age 19 and annual mammography for those 40 years of age and older is important and lifesaving.

Please take a moment to encourage the women and men in your life to educate themselves on early detection tools and to take the time to conduct monthly self-exams.  A 60 second self-exam could save your life.

There are many educational and support resources available locally.  We would like to direct you to a few:

Continue to watch our Healing Journey’s Section on Youtube and our Website for additional information on breast cancer and stories and comments from breast cancer survivors.