October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the campaign to make women more aware of their health is well underway, several women are sharing their stories and lending a hand in the battle to survive by reforming myths and helping more people make the decision to get tested early – men and women.
There are several inspirational stories of willpower and determination being shared on this topic that affects so many hearts across the nation. The National Breast Cancer Foundation is in high gear promoting women’s health. One tool they are using is EarlyDetection.com. The front page of the website says that one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime by 85 years old.
The goal is to make women of all ages aware of the disease and to build a message of hope, not fear, that they can increase their chances of survival with early detection. Early detection comes in many forms. EarlyDetection.com is giving women and their families information on ways to detect and increase survival among its victims to 98 percent.
During National Breast Cancer Month, the tips shared are geared towards detecting the signs, understanding the symptoms, performing routine and regular breast examinations, scheduling clinical breast exams, visiting a doctor for a mammogram, and practicing healthy eating habits.
Another educational tool that is being promoted by the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Early Detection is a program called “Beyond the Shock.” Beyond the Shock is an online guide designed to help women understand the magnitude of this cancer and learn how to best deal with the diagnosis by offering educational resources in hopes of better preparing women.
Women also learn about stories of survival. They can watch videos of women speak about their battles with the disease and they can ask questions. It is hoped that in the end women and men will receive inspiration to beat the odds by fighting and winning their own personal battles.
Dr. Susanne Hoekestra said that outside of some skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common disease faced by women, regardless of ethnicity or race. Dr. Hoekestra also said that many cases are hereditary, but still 85 percent of women who get cancer have no prior family history. As research suggests, other contributing factors include not having children until later in life and taking hormone replacement therapy for more than five years.
Women who possess the BCRA-1 and the BCRA-2 gene are at risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. If there is prior family history, your chances increase, and if that family member developed the disease prior to the age of 50, chances are even higher. With knowledge, it is possible to separate fact from myth.
ABC reported on the myths. Research shows that there is no relationship between breast cancer and wire bras, cup size, or when a woman started wearing a wire bra, says Kari Wisinski, MD, from the University of Wisconsin. With so much misinformation, the foundation says, the campaign’s goal is to help people understand how women and men develop breast cancer.
Ivanka Trump is also a breast cancer supporter, and places her philanthropic focus on research. A business woman and designer, Trump is the spokeswoman of the year for a QVC fundraiser called “FFANY Shoes on Sales.”
Trump said that she realized that research does not garner huge donations, but she feels that breast cancer is a personal issue that affects all women, and especially mothers. The life threatening disease affects “the health of our families,” says Trump, adding that every mother is at risk and has an interest in preventing breast cancer.
Philanthropic giving is a family trait for Trump, one she says was given to her by her father, Donald Trump. Such a high value was instilled in her to use her money for good that she was driven to help raise funds to research breast cancer and find a solution. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” says Ivanka Trump. In honor of this month, men and women are advised to visit their doctors to get a clinical examination – the first step in the race to prevent breast cancer and save lives.
By Carolette Wright