October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Treasure Your Chest!!

October 18, 2011 By Tracy

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I would just want to take this opportunity to encourage all you ladies out there to be Pro-active in the fight against breast cancer. Monthly breast self-exams help to save thousands of lives every year! Early detection is so important, don’t let another month go by without a self-exam. Last year, I signed up for “Underwire Alerts” sponsored by brightPink.org, and once a month they send me a text message reminding me it’s time for that all important monthly self-exam.  It’s so easy to sign up just text the word PINK to 59227. That’s it! If you would prefer to get the alerts by email just go here to fill out the online form.

Now I would also like to take this opportunity to spread some awareness about Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). Nine years ago I lost my mother-in-law to Inflammatory Breast Cancer. IBC is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer which rarely causes a lump in the breast. IBC occurs when cancer cells block lymphatic vessels in the breast causing it to become red and swollen. Because IBC forms in thin sheets and not lumps, it is often not detectable through mammograms or ultrasounds. Some systems to watch for are as follows:

Breast swelling, which is usually sudden with one breast much larger than the other; Itching of the breast; A pink, red, or dark colored area, some times with a texture like the skin of an orange; Ridges and thickened areas of the skin; Breast feeling warm to the touch; Nipples appear inverted or flattened; Breast pain; Nipple discharge.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, please visit your physician.

There are great websites out there with more information on the symptoms and treatment of all forms of breast cancer. Here are a few:

www.komen.org

www.cancer.org

www.ibcresearch.org

www.nbcf.org

www.mdanderson.org