October 1st marks the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, a yearly effort to raise awareness about breast cancer, earn funds for a cure, and educate men and women about the disease. Each year over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer; more than 40,000 die from the disease annually. Roughly 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer in their lifetime. Although men are less likely to develop breast cancer, around 2,000 are diagnosed each year. Raising awareness about breast cancer, early detection, and yearly mammograms can save thousands of lives every year.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Although there is no known cure to breast cancer, early detection significantly increases a patient’s chances of surviving the disease. Early symptoms may include:
- A lump in the breast tissue or armpit
- Irritation, redness, or dryness of the skin
- Swelling of part of the breast
- Pain in breast tissue or the nipples
- Nipple discharge (pus, blood, etc)
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer
Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer never display symptoms. Women with breast cancer often lack proper education about their options. Advocates for breast cancer awareness have dedicated themselves to providing support, education, and fundraising efforts for women suffering from breast cancer by:
- Providing physical and emotional support for women with breast cancer
- Raising funds that could lead to a permanent cure for breast cancer
- Educating women about the necessity of yearly mammograms after age 50
- Encouraging all women to perform breast self-exams once a month
- Informing breast cancer patients about their surgical and reconstructive options
One way to raise awareness about breast cancer is to wear the pink ribbon this October. Supporters can also participate in races, fundraisers, and volunteer programs in Johnson City to help raise awareness about breast cancer. To learn more about breast cancer awareness, mastectomy surgery, and breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Brantner’s office.