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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A few important facts and statistics about breast cancer to celebrate the month when awareness is the way to go.

I came across these two beautiful breast cancer images last week and I wanted to share their significance with you.

The significance of the Pink Ribbon is obvious to most of us, but for those of you who don't know, it symbolizes the ongoing fight against breast cancer, and the tremendous courage of breast cancer survivors everwhere. The month of October celebrates the awareness of breast cancer among all of us, and recognizes the fact that knowing is half the battle! Help spread the word this month, and all year long, about the importance of self breast exams, screening mammograms, and advances in breast cancer treatments and breast reconstruction.

The second image is a picture of the pink ribbon oatmeal cannister I found at our local Ralphs, which I thought was a great pairing considering the fact that breast cancer is the #1 cancer killer in women, but heart diease is the #1 killer overall. So make sure to wear your ribbon and eat your oatmeal this month!

You'll also find a great video that demonstrates how to do a proper self breast exam, which is something that most women still avoid, but shouldn't. As with every type of cancer, early detection is the BEST treatment. It doesn't cost a penny, and it only takes 5 minutes a month to do a self breast exam, so there's no excuse to skip it. 

Five Important Things to Keep in Mind While Watching the Video:

  1. You should be bare breasted for your exam. Don't try to do the exam through your shirt or bra like she does in the video.
  2. Use concentric circles to make sure you examine the entire breast, and use the same pattern every time so you don't miss a spot.
  3. Don't skip the armpit step. It's really important to feel for hard or painful lymph nodes too.
  4. If you find anything that you are not sure about, make an appointment to have a real clinical breast exam right away.
  5. Self breast exams do not replace the need for screening mammograms which should happen every year after age 40 according to American Cancer Society, or sooner if you have a significant family history of breast cancer.

If you have any questions or concerns about anything relating to breast exams, mammograms, breast reconstruction surgery, or revisional breast reconstruction surgery, please don't hesitate to stop into the office in the Beautologie Malibu Suite 203 at 24955 PCH, or give me a call anytime.

Nicholas Vendemia, M.D.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. October 03, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Hi Shelley. Thank you so much for your comment, and I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your mom to breast cancer. I support everything you suggest here except: 1) mammograms cause cancer, and 2) that the American Cancer Society doesn't have the public's best interest at heart. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that mammograms cause cancer, but there is plenty of evidence to show that screening mammograms lead to earlier detection and better outcomes for breast cancer patients. There is certainly nothing wrong with presenting alternative screening methods, but using unfounded claims to discourage women from the gold standard screening method before the alternative has been proven to be at least comparable in its efficacy is counterproductive to the whole idea of breast cancer awareness. Thermograms may play a more active role in breast cancer screening in the future, but as of this moment, mammograms, self breast exams, and clinical breast exams are the gold standard for detecting breast cancers, and breast ultrasounds are available as a well studied alternative in certain situations. There is also nothing wrong with presenting alternative support groups and cancer prevention societies, but denouncing a well known and well respected organization like the ACS might be offensive to the hundreds of thousands of national and international breast cancer survivors who have been helped by ACS physicians and research.
Robin October 04, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I'm so sorry to here about your loss too! We are losing too many young daughters, mothers, sisters and friends to breast cancer. My prayers are with you!! Here is a link for 10% off Breast Cancer Awareness Products from Francesca's Fancy Flops- GO PINK! http://www.facebook.com/FrancescasFancyFlops/posts/506562456022209?email=2
Barbara Krause October 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Always remember to be vigilant and consider your life style choices especially when there is a family history of breast cancer.
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Shelley Kramer October 10, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Lifestyle essentials need to be without controversial, questionable and known carcinogens in daily used products you put on your body and use in your home. Read the facts, environmental working group, Campaign for safe cosmetics, publicsright2know.org, preventcancer.com, learn how to avoid nasty chemicals in products you use.

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