October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

CARE, Inc. provides respite care for all ages of adults. As we start October, this brings an opportunity to talk about a major health awareness event that is important to the women of our communities throughout Louisiana. Yes, it is breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer among U.S. women, as well as the second-most highest death rate.

Although breast cancer is largely known to occur in females – with 1 of every 8 women developing the disease at some time during their lives – breast cancer can also develop in men. Close to 2,500 cases of male breast cancer are anticipated to diagnosed in the United States; just this year. All around the state of Louisiana, the month of October will be a good opportunity for citizens to participate in free screenings.

You can check the Susan G. Komen website to find local mammogram screenings in your area, or follow along with the Mammography Coach Bus to determine when this mobile screening vehicle will arrive in your Parish.

What is breast cancer and how does it develop?

In layman’s terms, breast cancer starts as a growth of the breast cells, which when left untreated, become uncontrollable. This can result in the popup of a tumor. Some tumors are malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer). Breast cancer tumors can either be non-invasive or invasive. The former simply means the cancer is limited to the inflicted area; whereas the latter means that it can spread through the breast tissue.

Many people believe that breast cancer is entirely genetic, and although there is some substance behind this belief, scientists have also linked higher breast cancer likeliness among primarily white and African American women, whereas those of Hispanic, Native American or Asian decent have a slightly lower risk of getting this horrible disease. The risk of getting breast cancer goes up with age, so Louisiana women between the ages of 45 – 75 years old are highly encouraged to get a bi-annual mammogram.

Mammograms can detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, yet the Center for Disease Control’s recent findings have revealed over 7+ million ladies in the U.S. have not undergone a mammogram recently.

CARE, Inc. encourages women of all ages to talk to their doctors about breast cancer. We encourage our patients of this demographic to confide in our caregivers, who can also assist with providing the information.