Take Action for National Breast Cancer Awareness Day | UHSM

Breast Cancer

Take Action for National Breast Cancer Awareness Day 

The key to surviving cancer is early detection: 

You can make a difference and save the lives of your loved ones by knowing the signs and symptoms and being aware of your own family medical history.  

Read More for Four Key Elements of Early Detection: 

Understand Your Degree of Risk   

Cancer can be scary, and sometimes people feel secure in “not-knowing,” but knowing is half the battle. It’s critical to understand that some women are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer if their family has had a history of the disease.  

If you have one first-degree, female relative (such as, your sister, mother, or daughter), diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk for breast cancer is twice as high. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that your risk of breast cancer is five times higher if you have two diagnosed, first-degree, female relatives.     

 Other ancestral diagnoses that you should consider: 

  • If one first-degree male relative has had breast cancer. 

  • If a second-degree (aunt, grandmother, niece) relative has had breast cancer. 

  • If a first or second-degree relative has had ovarian cancer.

Sometimes, an abnormal BRCA1, BRCA 2 or even CHEK2 gene is the cause of a strong history of breast cancer.   

Early Detection Methods  

1. Self-Assessment 

It’s wise to perform breast self-assessments routinely, as well as to schedule yourself for a mammogram every year once you hit about forty, unless you have a family history of breast cancer, in which you should check-in sooner. Just as it is vital to evaluate the health of one’s teeth, eyes, back, etc., so too is it important and needed to regularly examine one’s breasts for irregularities, changes in coloration, and for any development of lumps. The more you check your breasts, the easier it will be to recognize concerning changes and how your hormones can play a role, too.  

2. Mammograms  

While these self-exams are valuable, you should also get doctor check-ups, including mammograms. A mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast and is a reasonably accurate tool that can detect the early signs of cancer.   

Due to the pandemic, mammograms and other screenings were adversely affected, creating a backlog. Nevertheless, it is still critical to get on a waitlist; the sooner you can schedule a screening, the better.  

3. Discuss Family History & Personal Risk Assessment  

In addition to discussing breast cancer with your relatives, you can also take a family history risk assessment for a more precise prognosis. A specialist at a family history clinic or a regional genetics center can perform this assessment – typically, your GP will need to refer you. Should it reveal that you are at high risk, you and your doctor will build a tailored screening plan 

4. Family Support Group  

Your family members are a valuable resource in multiple ways as they can also form the basis for a familial support group. Connecting with family over preventative and proactive health can improve bonds and create a support net during future health issues.  

Moreover, at UHSM, we believe in a holistic approach to medicine that balances the three pillars of health: mind, body and spirit. Whether routine exercise and regular sleep habits to an active prayer life and meditating on God’s word, these helpful practices allow you to optimize your health. 

What You Can Do This Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

Take the first step toward early detection: 

Start today…

Give your mom, your sister, your aunt, and grandmother a call. It’s more important than ever to discuss your family’s health history, as well as any previous diagnosis of breast cancer within your family and other preventative care options. 

Join us Every Day this Week 

WeShare in resources, ways to get involved, how to stay connected, and tips for wellness… 

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month  

Christian women in our community, know that you are seen, loved, cared for, and supported every step of the way.

WeShare further connects resources to those working through breast cancer through Cancer Kinship, an organization founded by UHSM Ambassador Yolanda Origel. Affectionately called “Yoli,” is a superstar in her community, connecting resources, support, and love to those in-need; Yoli builds others up through empowerment and storytelling. Learn how to connect, support, or volunteer with Cancer Kinship, today! 

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