Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness
and Celebrating Survivors
Whether as a patient, family member, or friend; Breast Cancer has affected many of us. In the African American community less women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer, but more succumb to the disease. It is not an easy reality to learn you have breast cancer, but there are many resources that can ease the experience for you. Many breast cancer initiatives supply resources for their supporters, patients, and survivors, but the Praise Is The Cure®: Resource Guide for Hope, Health, and Healing is specifically designed for people of color. ** Download Our Resource Guide Now! **
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a kind of tumor that develops in the cells of a person's breast. This happens when cells, the tiny building blocks in our bodies, divide quickly over time without dying, making many, many copies of itself. When this happens, a tumor, abnormal body cells grouped together in a form of a mass or lump, can start to form and grow. It can start in the breast and spread to other parts ofthe body. Since all people have breast tissue, men can get breast cancer too, although this is very rare.
Who gets breast cancer?
Any woman can get breast Cancer, but doctors have found factors make some women more likely to get it. Family history - A women whose mother, sister, aunt or daughter has had breast cancer is more like to get breast cancer. Age - As Women get older, they are more at risk for breast cancer. Diet and Lifestyle - Women who smoke, eat high fat diets and don't get enough exercise may be more at risk for developing breast cancer.
What are the signs of breast cancer?
A woman who has breast cancer may not feel any problems or she may a painless lump in her breast. Sometimes a doctor will discover a lump in a woman's breast during a routine examination. Other times it is found when a woman has a mammogram, a special kind of X-ray. Most breast lumps are not cancer, but, a doctor should check all breast lumps.
What will the doctor do?
When a lump is found, the doctor will want to test it. The best Way to do this is usually With a biopsy. In a biopsy, a small amount of breast tissue is removed with a needle or during a small operation. Then, the tissue is examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells. The biopsy may be benign, which means the lump is not cancer. If the biopsy shows cancer cells, the lump is malignant. If a breast lump does contain cancer cells, the woman, along with her doctor and family will decide what to do next.
What about alternative treatments?
All programs to treat breast cancer should be done under the care of a doctor. Good nutrition and exercise can only add to treatment. Faith is also an important component of getting well and staying well. Be encouraged that God has increasingly revealed better treatment options and more women are surviving breast cancer that ever before. Be sure to use natural approaches and your faith as part of your wellness regime and not in isolation.
Talk with your doctor about clinical trials. Whether you are newly diagnosed, experiencing advanced cancer or at risk for cancer, there may be a trial for your situation. Clinical trials are studies that test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer. Doctor's carefully plan these studies to find out if a new method would be better. Patients in clinical trials are the first to gain access to new and better treatment.
Something to think, pray and take action about ...
"Every racial or ethnic group has speciñc health concerns. Differences in the health of groups can result from genetics, environmental factors, access to care and cultural factors. African American women have almost twice the rate of advanced breast cancer as white women do, largely because the disease is often diagnosed after it is has already progressed. In addition, some black women have misconceptions about cancer and are reluctant to seek medical help. More than 20 percent refuse to be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Educating women is so important. Educate more women and dispel some of the fears they have about cancer and cancer treatment. Encourage them to have yearly mammograms to catch cancer at an earlier stage when it is more curable." - National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities