Breast Cancer Awareness Tour

By: April Douglas
By: April Douglas

Here's a sobering statistic; one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. All women are at risk and there is no cure.

Florida State University college students are taking control and leaving their mark in the fight against breast cancer.

Maureen O'Donnell of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation says, "More people are educated about the dangers. Breast cancer touches more people each year."

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in American women and second only to lung cancer in number of cancer-related deaths. This year more than 40,000 women and 400 men will die of breast cancer.

When confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is better than 95 percent.

A plethora of pink tees dot the Student Union green as women of all ages learn lifesaving skills to turn the tide on a deadly trend, pledging their names to stay on the road to a cure. Hopefully, the power of a promise will prove to be lifesaving.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is on a two-week interactive tour of college campuses to deliver its lifesaving message. Its next stop is the University of Alabama.

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What Factors Increase Your Risk for Breast Cancer

  • Having a personal history of a prior breast cancer.

  • Evidence of a specific genetic change increases susceptibility to breast cancer.

  • Having a mother, sister, daughter, or two or more close relatives, such as cousins, with a history of breast cancer, especially if diagnosed at a young age.

  • A diagnosis of a breast condition that may predispose a woman to breast cancer, or a history of two or more breast biopsies for benign breast disease.

  • Women age 45 or older who have at least 75 percent dense tissue on a mammogram are at some increased risk.

  • A slight increase in risk for breast cancer is associated with having a first birth at age 30 or older.

What Can You Do?

  • If you are in your 40s or older, get a mammogram on a regular basis, every one to two years.

  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about planning your personal schedule for screening mammograms and breast exams.

  • Gather as much information as you can about your family history of cancer, breast cancer, and screening mammograms.

  • Call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service for more information about breast cancer and mammograms at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). People with TTY equipment, dial 1-800-332-8615.

  • For the latest information on cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute's website for patients and the public at http://rex.nci.nih.gov or CancerNet at http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov.

Source: http://rex.nci.nih.gov/MAMMOG_WEB/PUBS_POSTERS/FACTS_BC.html (National Institutes of Health).


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