Although breast cancer cannot be prevented, it can be detected early to increase the chance of treatment. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which attempts to raise awareness of the disease‘s early warning signals and motivate women to get mammograms.
A breast cancer awareness fundraiser was held Tuesday, Oct. 25 at UTEP’s Union Building. The event was hosted in collaboration of Womxn Empowerement Organization and Girl Power Gym and gave a bodyweight workout session.
This event not only raised awareness on the importance of the early detection of breast cancer, but it also served as a space where women could enjoy working out together and feel part of a community. The entrance fee was $5, and all proceeds went to support the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation.
Breast Cancer awareness is fundamental, reported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 12.9 percent of American women born today will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.
Breast cancer affects women over 45 at higher rates. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage increases the chances of survival of the patient and ensures treatment. For this reason, self-examination is critical.
“Early detection and treatment are essential in the fight against breast cancer, and we want to encourage everyone to get the care they need,” said Dr. David Harmon, Chief Medical Director at Superior Health Care, in a press release.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), all adult women are advised to conduct breast self-exams at least once per month. Correct self-examinations can be conducted in three different ways; in the shower, in front of a mirror, or laying down.
NBCF explained the correct way to conduct self-examinations. In the shower, examine the entire breast and armpit region by applying increasing pressure with the flats of your three middle fingers. Every month, feel both breasts for any lumps, thickening, knotting that has become rigid, or other breast changes. In front of a mirror, visually inspect your breasts with your hands to the side and look for any changes in the nipple’s shape, skin swelling, or any alterations that do not seem normal. Lastly, when laying down, place a pillow to support your right shoulder and right arm. Use your three middle fingers of your opposite arm to apply pressure in your armpit and breast area and feel for lumps or discharge.
You shouldn’t rely on self-examinations for breast cancer. It is encouraged to get mammograms to detect tumors beforehand.
Hosting events that spread awareness of breast cancer and provide information on early detection is crucial because breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the second greatest cause of death in women.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you feel a lump. Whenever you have concerns, call your doctor for additional assurance of your health.
For more information on breast cancer visit www.breastcancer.org.
Sophia Villalobos is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]
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