You’ve seen the pink ribbons all over the place, and most people know what they stand for, breast cancer awareness. The reason for the pink color is the majority of people living with breast cancer are women, 99% in fact, but there are instances where men can find themselves affected in that 1%. No matter if you’re a man or a woman, breast cancer is something we should all be aware of as early as possible. At Coastal Plains Surgical Care, we take extra care to share breast cancer awareness information not just in October but all year long.
We’ve all known someone either through the grapevine or someone near and dear to us that’s been affected by breast cancer. We hope to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer and take this time to remember those people that haven’t. We hope that the names and memories of our friends and family members lost to breast cancer will bring awareness to our communities so that we can all be prepared as much as possible for the chance it could happen to us.
During breast cancer awareness month, we discuss a few important topics about when is the right time for a screening and where to have them. We also think about the extra things we can do at home and in our daily lives to combat breast cancer if we can. For those that might become affected by breast cancer or have just found out that they may have it, we’ve made a list of some things you can do to combat it with possible treatments.
Breast Cancer—Things to Think About:
- Screening and Early Detection, 3D Mammograms
When dealing with the ever-present possibility of breast cancer there is a global average age for women to develop these abnormalities, and that age is the early 40’s. This number is an average but isn’t strictly a number that will work for everyone. So the best thing we can do is be prepared to check in with our bodies and make sure your general physician or family doctor performs these manual exams as soon as possible. Your doctor will teach you the best techniques to give yourself a manual exam once a month or whenever you have a moment to check in. Early detection is your best preparation and the earlier you know, the better your chances to beat breast cancer.
Your family history will tell you if you might develop breast cancer since one in eight women will. Most of the serious medical conditions we could potentially be affected by are known to us through genetics; our genes are a powerful tool that acts like a magic crystal ball into our potential future. If there aren’t any details on previously exposed family members, there are 3D mammograms which are an amazing new development for women. These 3D mammograms won’t require painful breast tissue squeezing, but take x-ray photos of your breasts in sliced images that your physician can dissect and examine in detail. Many studies have shown that these 3D mammograms are great for early detection by up to 30%.
- Total Health Concerns (Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle Changes)
There are multiple factors involved when cancer develops, some of which come from our external environment and others that are internal. It’s important to keep our immune system strong so that any strange cells can be recognized which includes maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also recommended to avoid charred foods and cigarette smoke that are considered carcinogens that present problems for cancer development in the body. At Coastal Plains Surgical Care, we recommend that you reduce your usual alcohol consumption and increase your physical fitness. Staying active helps to improve circulation and the disruption of free radicals in the body by increasing our oxygen intake. The body needs healthy nutrients and the supported lifestyle to live healthy and well. Ask your doctor what the best nutritional options are for a cancer-free lifestyle.
- Treatment Options and Reconstruction
It’s best to know what you’re in for and to be aware of your options should you ever have breast cancer. Depending on how advanced your breast cancer is when you’ve discovered it, some treatments can be more invasive than others. Chemotherapy, radiation, and excision surgery are possible treatment options for breast cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation work throughout the body to target larger blanket areas if cancer has spread; surgery would focus on the breast to remove the tissue affected by cancerous cells. Breast reconstruction is an option for mastectomy or a portion of breast removal to help women regain their femininity.
Being aware of the possibilities with breast cancer is the best way we can help ourselves. To find out more about how you can stay ahead of the game, call Coastal Plains Surgical Care at (361) 354-2832.