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Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Baring It All: Two Moms Share their Breast Cancer Story to Raise Awareness

Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the nation according to the Hospital Corporation of America. Each year more than one million people in the U.S. are diagnosed. According to HCA, one out of every eight American women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

Most people know what breast cancer is but many forget to take the simple steps to help detect the disease before its too late. That’s why during October HCA is holding several events to raise awareness, and make people aware of treatments.

 

There are ways to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you might want to talk to a doctor to see if you should be tested for the breast cancer gene mutation.

Event if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer you should talk to a doctor to see which screening is best for you. You might be thinking that only women who have a family history get breast cancer. Wrong. Approximately, 90 to 95 percent of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

So how can you limit your chances of getting breast cancer? HCA recommends that women should limit their exposure to estrogen, try to maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol consumption, lay off cigarettes, and exercise more. For women who are at a higher risk a option could be to surgically remove both breasts, however, patients should talk to their doctor first to see which option is best.

For women 20 and up The American Cancer Society recommends women talk to their doctor about the benefits, harms, and limitations of breast self-exams.There are three types of screenings that can help detect the disease including the breast self-exam, the clinical breast exam, and mamograms.

So how many times a year should you do the breast self exam? The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends women perform this test once a month. Not sure how to do a self breast exam check out Memorial Hospital’s tutorial.

So what are you chances of developing breast cancer? It depends on your age, as the chance of developing this disease increases with age. Three out of Four cases occur in women over 50 years old. However, its important to realize that breast cancer can occur at any age.

Tampa Community Hospital will be holding an educational seminar called Pink Pancake Brunch on October 15 at 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Guests will be able to enjoy dunking their hotcakes into savory syrup while learning about breast cancer. This event will be taught by Dr. Gus Mitsopoulos and will address the importance of early detection and breast biopsies. To reserve your spot call 1-855-245-8330 or register online.

St. Petersburg General Hospital will also be offering a Breast Cancer Support Group class on October 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It doesn’t matter if you recently were diagnosed or if you want to learn more about breast cancer, everyone is encouraged to attend. This free class will discuss clinical trials, surgery, lymphedema, lumps and cysts, genetics, side effects and more.

Just know it’s never to early to recognize the warning sizes of cancer.

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