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Learning Center Experience
By Joyvina Evans, PhD CCRC
Every October, people across the United States recognize breast
cancer awareness. People are adorned with pink attire and many cities or
counties have breast cancer awareness walks sponsored by Susan G. Komen or the
American Cancer Society.
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of
cancer. It is recommended that women
between the ages of 50 and 74 are screened every 2 years and that women between
40 and 49 at least speak with their physician about screening via a
While I am not in either of those age groups, my sisters and
mom all have had mammograms. Each
expressed that the temporary discomfort is worth it. They would rather have to
go through this ordeal and know that there are not issues with breast cancer,
versus not knowing.
In the United States, breast cancer is deemed the most
common cancer in women regardless of race and ethnicity. In Hispanic women, it is considered the most
common mortality from cancer and the second most common cause of mortality
among Asian/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan
Natives (CDC, 2014). It is estimated that in 2015, over 290,000 new cases of
breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S and approximately 2,350 new
cases in men (Breast Cancer, 2015).
Generally, breast cancer awareness focuses on women, however
there have been an increase of research focusing on men who develop this
disease. The rates of preventive double
mastectomies doubled in men between 2004 and 2011. This is an interesting
statistic considering the fact that breast cancer is rare in men. It is
estimated that less than 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men. The lifetime risk of a man being diagnoses is
about 1 in 1,000. Because men’s breasts are so small, they do not usually have
lumpectomies and instead opt for mastectomies to remove the tumor. When men are diagnosed with cancer in one
breast, they may opt to have a double mastectomy. Whenever the healthy breast is removed, it is
called a contralateral preventive mastectomy. Women are taking heed to what men
are doing. According to Seo (2015), more women who have been diagnosed with
breast cancer in only one breast are opting to have double mastectomies as well.
Regardless of age, weight, race, or gender…if
you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you should ask your doctor about all
of the treatment options. Additionally,
be sure to ask about risk reduction options.
Together, you and your oncologist can make the best decision for you and
Joyvina Evans, PhD CCRC, is a faculty member at Kaplan
University. The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes
only, and are not to be relied upon for medical purposes. Always check with a
health care professional regarding any questions you may have regarding medical
The Value of the Medical Assistant in Today’s Medical Practice
The Importance of Health Educators
Breast Cancer (2015). U.S. Breast cancer statistics.
Retrieved from, http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Breast
cancer statistics. Retrieved from, http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/
Seo, B.R., Bhardwaj, P., Choi, S., Gonzalez, J., Andresen,
R.C., et al (2015). Science Translational Medicine. Obesity-dependent changes
in interstitial ECM mechanics promote breast tumorigenesis. Science
Translational Medicine. Retrieved from, http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/7/301/301ra130
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