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When the Diagnosis is Pink

Dr. Michele J. Doughty, Author Brown Bag Expressions

It would be wonderful if every mammogram and biopsy would result in scripts that are normal. How elated we would all be knowing that breast cancer has been eradicated, the disease no longer exist in the global world. But what happens when the scripts are abnormal and the diagnosis is pink? What happens when the diagnosis is breast cancer?

In 2017, the American Cancer Society projects that 252,710 new cases of invasive forms of breast cancer and 63,410 new cases of breast carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed. This means over 300,000 individuals, including men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis cuts across all racial and ethnic groups, religions, age groups and socio-economic status.

What Do We Know?

Only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary, which means as much as 90 percent are related to non-genetic factors. Therefore, incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes can lower your risk for breast cancer (e.g., exercise, proper nutrition, not smoking and lowering alcohol consumption). We also know that certain risk factors increases your risk for breast cancer (e.g., age, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, hormonal replacement therapy and etc.). What we know is that certain risk factors are non-modifiable, however we can target those modifiable risk factors to live a healthier and fuller life.

What Should We Believe? We are getting closer to understanding that breast cancer is heterogeneous nature, diagnosed in multiple variations, requiring different treatment methods and that such medical discoveries are extending lives. We now have over 2.7 million survivors in the United States which provides us with evidence that something is working. However, we also know that over 40,000 mortalities will occur many related to later stage in diagnosis. When breast cancer is detected in the early stages there is nearly a 100% chance of a 5-year survival rate, in comparison breast cancer diagnosed in later stages.

Why Should We Care?

Getting involved during this time, volunteering, donating and doing your part will encourage someone fighting for their life. You can impart strength to sustain them in their fight to become cancer free.

You Can Make A Difference By Caring Please Click to make a tax deductible DONATION to the American Cancer Society Making Strides for Breast Cancer.

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