Friday, October 2, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The month of October is so special to me. It is the month I celebrate the birth of one of my sons, my mother, and myself. Additionally, October is the month the world places special emphasis on Breast Cancer Awareness. As we have in the previous two years, this blog will support via your participation. For every comment left this month, be it a comment on Breast Cancer or just a shout out for whatever reason, we will donate $2.00 to Breast Cancer research.

Women get breast cancer when cells in the breast don't grow right and a tumor forms. Getting a mammogram (x-ray of the breast) can help find the cancer early. This gives a woman more treatment options and makes it more likely she will survive the cancer.

African American women are more likely than all other women to die from breast cancer. Tumors are found at a later, more advanced, stage so there are fewer treatment options. Some reasons for this may include not being able to get health care or not following-up after getting abnormal test results. Other reasons may include distrust of the health care system, the belief that mammograms are not needed, or not having insurance.

We do not know how to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk, such as keeping a healthy weight and limiting how much alcohol you drink.

There are things you can do to find breast cancer early:

Self Breast Exam
A breast self-exam. A breast exam and clinical exams are no substitutes for mammograms.
Get A Breast Exam
It is the best way to find out if you have breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. It can find breast cancer that is too small for you or your doctor to feel. All women starting at age 40 should get a mammogram every one to two years. Talk to your doctor about how often you need a mammogram. If your mother or sister had breast cancer, you may need to start getting mammograms earlier.

• Get A Clinical Breast Exam
 This is a breast exam done by your doctor or nurse. She or he will check your breasts and underarms for any lumps, nipple discharge, or other changes. The breast exam should be part of a routine check up.

Get To Know Your Breasts
You may do monthly breast self-exams to check for any changes in your breasts. If you find a change, see your doctor right away.

For more information: The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) program provides free or low-cost breast cancer testing to women who don't have health insurance. To learn more about this program, please contact the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).


  1. Linda, thanks for posting this information. It is so important that we as African American women take care of ourselves. Will gladly help you spread the word!

  2. Hi Linda,
    I'm happy to support you in your efforts to promote awareness of breast cancer. This important information has the potential to save lives.
    Angeline Bandon-Bibum

  3. Jeanette thank you for stopping by. The more information we have the better opportunity we have of taking better care of ourselves.


  4. I agree with you wholeheartedly Angeline.

    Thank you for stopping by. Please come again.


  5. Thanks for the information. I love your concept and your site.

  6. Happy B-day, Linda.

  7. Zaria thank you for the kind words. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to survive. I pray that we will always be be mindful of our responsibilities of village citizenship.

    Thank you for coming by. I hope to see you at the party this week.


  8. Linda,

    Beautiful! The photos make me feel I'm right there, sitting at the lovely table and the decorations are outstanding.

    Love, Theresa

  9. I'm adopting a cautious approach.
    Our doctors don't recommend routine breast exams, as they lead to false reassurance.
    Also, younger women have naturally lumpy breasts and CBE's often lead to unnecessary biopsies.
    I "thought" I'd have mammograms when I turned 50, (following the recommendation) but then I saw something in the newspaper that worried me.
    I've spent the last two years reading up on the subject and have now decided not to have mammograms.
    Will I have a CBE instead or just be breast aware?
    The jury is still out - I'm just not sure...
    Sadly, as women, screening is often demanded of us, not offered, as it should be....
    There are risks and benefits with all screening tests - we tend to hear about the upside and usually receive next to nothing on the risks.
    Our informed consent is necessary for cancer screening and it's impossible to make a decision without ALL relevant information.
    Some of you might like to read an information leaflet produced by the Nordic Cochrane Institute on the risks and benefits of mammograms.
    The NCI have been critical of the skewed and incomplete information released to women.
    The UK screening authority were asked to redraft their brochure, but it's still grossly inadequate.
    NCI decided to take the matter into their own hands, rather than wait another few years for another redraft. They have criticized the information provided to women in most developed countries.
    People involved in screening are unlikely to say anything that might deter women from screening. Their success is measured in numbers - your attendance and the reduction in the death rate. They are not penalized for negative outcomes.
    I'm afraid the responsibility to protect your health rests with every woman.
    We can't rely on our doctors when it comes to screening. (unless you have an amazing Dr!)
    I'm hopeful the NCI will also release information on other screening tests - we're not children and it's about time, honesty was part of the agenda.