This October Means More
Every October, breast cancer statistics are shared by the media and cancer-related organizations in an effort to increase awareness about its incidence, risks, treatment, and prognosis. I can imagine that some people may ignore the statistics, thinking “I’ve heard this before”, or “I’m too young to worry about breast cancer.”
Stop just a minute and really consider the following1:
- A woman living in this country has a 12.3%, or a 1 in 8, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer
- Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among US women, accounting for 29% of newly diagnosed cancers
- During 2008–2012, the median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis was 61 years. This means that half of women who developed breast cancer were 61 years of age or younger at the time of diagnosis
Earlier this year our JB Ashtin family was hit with the reality that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate based on age. Who’d expect that a young woman in her early 30s would get breast cancer in both breasts? It couldn’t be real. Not someone we work with every day. Not someone who is so young, vibrant, physically fit, and has the best years ahead of her. This made all of us pause, realizing that it could happen to any one of us.
Our colleague faced her prognosis head on and with amazing courage. She researched and educated herself on everything related to this illness. After several consultations with oncology and reconstruction surgeons, she decided to have a double mastectomy. With prayers and support from her fiancé, family, and friends, she has progressed through the surgery and recovery period, and now has returned to work. Her strength, bravery, and continued positive outlook has inspired all of us.
Other women close to me have faced breast cancer. Three of my aunts have fought and won their battles against breast cancer. Another aunt is in the midst of her breast cancer treatment. Just last month, one of our young clients learned of her breast cancer recurrence. Like our colleague, these women are brave and inspire me to continue to educate and take care of myself, do self-exams, see my doctor regularly, get mammograms as recommended, and consider genetic testing.
Each October for the last 4 years, JB Ashtin has raised funds for the American Cancer Society to support Breast Cancer Awareness through “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. This October we feel more strongly than ever about its importance. Would you help us meet our goal of raising $2,000? Every little bit helps to support important research to find a cure. Click here to get to our Making Strides page, which allows you to contribute directly to the American Cancer Society.
Thank you for your consideration! In addition to your donation to research, here are some things that you can do for yourself and the important women in your life:
- Educate yourself about breast cancer
- Take steps to lower your risk of getting breast cancer
- Be your own advocate and seek multiple opinions from professionals
- In addition to oncologists, breast surgeons, and reconstructive surgeons, board-certified naturopathic oncologists are great resources and can assist with putting together a holistic plan pre- and post-surgery
- If diagnosed, take time to nurture yourself
- Find ways to reduce stress and anxiety (eg, exercise, prayer/meditation, acupuncture, spending time with supportive friends and family)
- Sleep 8 to 9 hours every night
- Our colleague recommends these additional resources:
If someone close to you is diagnosed, pass this information along. We can all make a difference.