Straight, No Chaser: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Breast cancer disturbs me deeply, and if it doesn’t affect you as well, you haven’t been paying attention. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s more likely than not that every single one of us has been affected by this, either directly or through a friend or family member.

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Breast cancer is different. We’ve found the way to eradicate certain cancers and have made remarkable progress on others. Aside from the hereditary component, breast cancer seems so…random, so dehumanizing and so debilitating to so many. Unlike so many of the things I address as an emergency physician, breast cancer isn’t like trauma, STDs and many other conditions, where one is often directly suffering the consequences of their behavior. It is vital that you appreciate the need and value for early detection to give yourself the best possible chance for the best possible outcomes. I’ll be discussing all these considerations in detail throughout the week.

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I appreciate the sentiment behind a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but if I could offer you anything on this, it would be a plea to be ‘aware’ every month, and use this month as a (re)commitment to take basic steps that will reduce your risk, a charge to maintain steps for early evaluation and a prod to point you toward prompt treatment if and when needed. In fact, those three areas will be the topics of my next few posts. In the meantime, please share this or other information about breast cancer with any and all females in your life. I also hope you choose to engage your family, friends and others in conversations geared to improving breast cancer awareness. Odds are many of them have been or will be affected by breast cancer.

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4 Comments

Filed under Health Prevention, Obstetrics and Gynecology

4 responses to “Straight, No Chaser: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  1. Sandra

    Would it not be advantageous to get several opinions if you have a lump in your breast the size of a golf ball and told it was not cancerous. I personally would get several.

    • Hi, Sandra. Don’t allow fear to guide your medical decisions. Although a second opinion is reasonable, I’m not sure “several opinions” would add anything. There is a standard of care that physicians are following. Thanks for following , Straight, No Chaser!

      • Sandra

        I guess the fear comes from two first cousins dying from breast cancer, they were in their early thirties.

      • Ah. This a prescription for early detection. There are reasonable guidelines that if followed are sufficient to offer you the best opportunity for successful treatment. We’ll discuss those in upcoming posts.