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October is almost over and a lot of people are preparing for Pumpkin Patches, Halloween activities, Fall Festivals, and Thanksgiving holidays.  But let us not forget that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer can affect men also.  One of my favorite actors that blew up in the 1970s as Shaft…is Richard Roundtree and he is a male breast cancer survivor.  He looks great for his age and is still working hard.  He can be seen now in Being Mary Jane and also in reruns of Soul Food (the TV series).  He has been known to use his platform to speak about breast cancer in men.

Monthly self-exams of the breast should start as early as age 16.  Some women have a higher risk than others. About one in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetime, the Susan G. Komen organization reports. Although genetics can cause breast cancer, some victims may have no direct family history of the disease. Women who are not at high risk of breast cancer should start screening for it at about age 45. Detecting breast cancer early increases treatment success rates. Many women have fought breast cancer and are still living today.  I have many ladies in my sister-circle that are shining examples of breast cancer survivors and they don’t take it for granted.  They participate in walks, fashion shows, workshops, seminars, and other events to support others with breast cancer, raise awareness, fund raise for research and assistance. 

I participate and support my sister-circle annually by participating in various breast cancer awareness activities and wearing a pink ribbon during the month of October.  I recommend scheduling annual mammograms and well woman exams in the same month each year, so that in the midst of a busy lifestyle, you won't forget to have it done.  The 3D mammogram reduces callbacks, but may require a co-pay or additional fee.

These tips can increase awareness and may reduce your risk of breast cancer:

• learn your family history;

• screenings/mammogram/monthly self-exam;

• become aware of breast cancer symptoms;

• maintain a healthy weight;

• stay physically active;

• eat fruits and vegetables and try to maintain a healthy diet;

• do not smoke;

• limit alcohol consumption.

Please be encouraged to support your breast cancer survivor co-workers, friends and loved ones by participating in wearing pink and or a pink ribbon  in October.  Also, participate in activities such as the Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure.  There are many other options, so research and select what is best suited for you.

Our Health is Our Wealth,

Live, Laugh, Love-

PJ  Wade


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