Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Britany Wright
October 16, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

Oct. 16, 2008 is National Think Pink Day to raise awareness for breast cancer. Since the ’90s, the incidence of breast cancer has increased. Fewer women, however, have died due to the preventative measures people can take. October is breast cancer awareness month. Pink ribbons and other symbols are omnipresent.

What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease that affects both men and women. It occurs when there is an abnormal cell growth in tissue inside of the breast. The most common place for cells to grow abnormally is within the ducts-the areas that carry milk to the nipple-and the lobules-glands that make the milk. Breast cancer is diagnosed more frequently in women because it linked closely to the hormone estrogen. Since men have a small percentage of estrogen, they are likely to contract the disease as well.

Early signs of breast cancer
Any kind of swelling, redness and enlarged lymph nodes (will feel like a large bump) may be cause for concern. If any of these occur ,it doesn’t necessarily mean one has breast cancer, but does call for a visit to the doctor. The visit is the first step to diagnosing the problem.

Ways to prevent
Talk to family physicians about the possibility of having an annual mammogram. This procedure has a high success rate of diagnosing women and men with breast cancer. Figure out if there is a family history of cancer. Do self-exams and be aware of early-detection signs. Unproven methods of prevention are exercising regularly and losing excess body fat.

When there’s a risk
Women and men who have a family history of breast cancer or have had breast cancer previously should exercise greater vigilance. The risk of breast cancer also increases with age. Women who are under the age of 35 have less of a risk of developing cancer unless there is a family history of it. Other conditions associated with greater risk include an overexposure to estrogen and use of birth control pills. Other factors include early menstruation, a late menopause, never being pregnant and pregnancy late in life. Other potential risk factors include alcohol use and exposure to radiation. Unproven risk factors include dietary fat, environmental pollutants, cigarette smoking, abortion/miscarriage history and being above the average body height/weight.

The Facts
In 2008, the statistics show that 182,460 women and 1,990 men were diagnosed with new cases of breast cancer. So far this year, 40,480 women and 450 men have died. For general information, go to and surf the Web site to know more about the disease and get advice from others who have already gone through their own battles against breast cancer.

Thurs. Oct. 16 at Cabrini
Donate $5 to Susan G. Koman for the Cure and wear pink today, Oct. 16.

Join Eileen Morgans, breast cancer coordinator from the Comprehensive Breast Cancer in the Mansion Dining Room from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. for free lunch, door prizes and general information about breast cancer.

Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. enjoy a “pinkalicious” lunch menu at the Marketplace and visit the Health Hut located outside the Marketplace for free pink ribbons, fitness testing, information, fitness and enter drawing for great giveaways.

Later that night, join P.A.R.T.Y. at 8 p.m. in the Xavier Great Room and watch the movie “Stepmom.” Students will be able to make their own pink awareness ribbon to support the cause.

Each event that takes place will gain a new stamp in the passport for success program.

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Britany Wright

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