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Posts Tagged ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By Our Student Pharmacist, Joe Raney.


Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breath cancer in the United States. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the United States, and it is the second most common cause of cancer related death in women after lung cancer.

The good news is that 63% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a stage where the 5-year survival rate is 99%. This is due in part to breast cancer screening, but more on that later.

First, how do we reduce the risk of developing breast cancer?

Cancer Prevention:

Your risk of developing cancer can be reduced by using these four strategies from the American Cancer Society.
They are:

  • achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
  • be physically active
  • follow a healthy eating plan
  • avoid alcohol

Achieve or Maintain a Healthy Body Weight:

To help achieve or maintain a healthy body weight you should first talk to your doctor about what a healthy body weight is for you and create a plan for how to achieve or maintain it.

Physical Activity:

The American Cancer Society recommends an exercise plan with around 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise each week, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. One way of completing this could be by going on a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes five to six times per week.

Follow a Healthy Eating Plan:

Consume a diet with a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits. Foods that are high in nutritional value can help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Healthy eating plans are ones that limit red and processed meats, sugary beverages, highly processed foods, and refined grain products. When you consume carbohydrate rich foods, such as breads and pasta, make sure they are whole grain products.

Avoid Alcohol:

It is best not to drink alcohol. When consuming alcohol, it is best to limit your intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Cancer Screening:

Breast cancer screenings are an important part of lowering your risk for severe breast cancer. The first step in determining what needs to be done for your screenings would be talking to your doctor about your breast cancer risk. There are many different items that can factor into determining your risk of developing breast cancer. Your doctor will help you create a plan for what kind of screenings you need, and how often you should receive them.

Likely, an important part of a plan would be having a mammogram done every two years for those ages 50-74. A mammogram is a machine that uses X-rays to detect breast cancer. Although it can be an uncomfortable procedure, it can detect breast cancer up to three years before the cancer can be felt with the hands. Mammograms are part of the reason why 63% of breast cancers cases are diagnosed at a stage where the 5-year survival rate is 99%.

Only 67% of women ages 40 and older have had a mammogram in the last two years. If you find yourself in the 33% of women who have not had one done, ask your doctor for a recommendation about breast cancer screenings during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Breast Cancer; CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/index.htm

Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity; American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/acs-guidelines-nutrition-physical-activity-cancer-prevention/guidelines.html

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for Women; CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/pdf/breast-cancer-screening-guidelines-508.pdf



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! By Our October Student Pharmacist, Danae Rockwell.


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is an annual health campaign organized by several breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of breast cancer and also raise money to investigate its cause, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

What is breast cancer?

Cancer cells are characterized by their abnormal ability to grow and invade healthy cells of the body. Breast cancer cells start in the breast tissue and can move to other areas of the body (a process known as metastasizing) as the disease progresses causing complications.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This is an outrageously concerning number and women need to be aware of risk factors that may potentiate their likelihood of getting breast cancer.

Genetic Risk Factors

Breast cancer occurs almost 100 times more often in women than in men. Less than one percent of men will develop breast cancer.

Women over the age of 55 are also more likely to get breast cancer than those of a younger age.

Race is another factor. Caucasian women are diagnosed more often than women of other races.

Knowing your family history is also important. If your grandmother, mother, or sister has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. Mutations in certain genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase your risk for breast cancer, as well. To determine if you have either of these genes, genetic testing must be done. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about genetic testing. These risk factors cannot be avoided and women should be aware of their individual risk factors and be routinely checked by their physicians, as early detection is key to treatment and survival.

What You Can Do

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. It is important to know your own risk factors and visit your doctor annually for checkups to detect any signs of cancer. Again, early detection is key for treatment and survival. NBCAM promotes awareness for this disease and gives the opportunity to donate to charity to help those affected by breast cancer. Through early detection, education, and support services, we can fight breast cancer and hope to someday beat it for good!


  1. “Breast Cancer: Prevention and Control.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
  2. How You Can Help – National Breast Cancer Foundation.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
  3. Nbcf. The National Breast Cancer Foundation. www.nationalbreastcancer.org. NBCF, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.