“Go Pink” Beyond October

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-12-31-10-pmOriginally published in Huffington Post 

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health, and Lisa Chau, Communications Manager of
Watertree Health
Many individuals, companies, and organizations “go pink” during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month; however, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation reports that a woman is newly diagnosed every 2 minutes. So, it is our hope that you’ll think about those who bravely fight breast cancer beyond this month.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a great resource for helping women understand risk factors and risk reduction. While breast cancer is linked to many influences, some pose higher risks than others. And, we still have not found a definitive cause for the disease. The same combination of risk factors may not have the same affect on different women.

Unfortunately, some risk factors such as age and gender cannot be controlled. Nonetheless, a healthy lifestyle may lower chances of breast cancer. Here is an alphabetical list of risk factors that may help in making informed lifestyle decisions.

So many people in America have been personally impacted by breast cancer. The disease can take a major toll on both the patient and family, but current treatment options can be effective. Drugs like exemestane and anastrozole may make it possible for some women to thrive and recover from the devastating diagnosis.

Other medications, in addition to early testing and chemotherapy, have greatly improved survival rates, vary by stage of breast cancer. Women have a better prognosis for survival with non-invasive (stage 0) and early stage invasive breast cancers (stages I and II); also if the cancer that has not spread beyond the breast into the lymph nodes. Metastatic breast cancer (stage IV) has the lowest prognosis since the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

The American Cancer Society has published information on new breast cancer research and treatment. For example, scientists are studying newer imagining methods to detect abnormalities in the breast. One such exam is a molecular breast imaging test known as scintimammography—a vein is injected with a slightly radioactive drug known as a tracer. A special camera then detects breast cancer cells that have attached to the tracer. This test may help with early detection.

Many communities are working hard to defeat this disease. If you want to help, consider fundraising, participating in a Race for the Cure®, becoming an advocate, or volunteering to support the fight against breast cancer.

Co-authored with Shane Power, President of Watertree Health, where Lisa works in communication and business development.

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