|Raising awareness of breast cancer issues|
|Thursday, 07 October 2010 11:27|
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the National Cancer Society is taking the opportunity to paint the town pink with many events planned across the country.
Since its inception more than a quarter century ago, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has aimed at promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the international dialogue on breast cancer.
Its purpose is to educate and empower women to take charge of their own breast health by practicing regular self-breast exams to identify any changes, scheduling regular visits and annual mammograms with their health care provider, adhering to prescribed treatment, and knowing the facts about recurrence.
The National Cancer Society is hosting many local events during October to promote breast cancer awareness.
To kick things off, a Breast Cancer Walkathon will be held Saturday, Oct. 9, on Providenciales. The walk will begin at 6 a.m. sharp at Graceway IGA, proceed along Leeward Highway to the Tropicana roundabout and back to the finish line at IGA. Registration is $20 and includes a T-shirt.
An extra special incentive is being offered by American Airlines, which has donated a round trip ticket to the U.S. that will be raffled off immediately after the race. You must participate in the walk to be eligible for the prize. Call 241-9989 for more information.
Walkathons will also be taking place on North Caicos and Middle Caicos on Oct. 16 and on South Caicos on Oct. 23, both at 6 a.m.
The North Caicos walkathon will start at the Texaco gas station and end at the Horse Stable. Middle Caicos residents will start at the community center and walk to the airport and back.
For the first time, a South Caicos walkathon will start at the Iris Stubbs Primary school, proceed through the community and ending at the regatta village, where Dr. Victoria King and members of the society will speak to participants about healthy eating habits and exercise.
The Somerset Resort will also be hosting its annual “In the Pink” Cancer Society fundraiser — a clothes and accessories sale in their Presidential Suite, followed by cocktails and an after party on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Enjoy pre-party drinks and nibbles, complimentary pink lip make-over, prizes for the most chic pink outfit and accessories. Then dance the night away at the after party in the Zen Garden, where one lucky person will win a weekend’s stay in the Presidential Suite. Call the pink hotline for more information at 946-5900.
A Pretty in Pink luncheon is being held at the Seven Stars Resort on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets for the luncheon are $60, with proceeds going to the National Cancer Society. A dietician from the Baptist Hospital in Florida will be speaking on dietary health.
The National Cancer Society has also recently endorsed an initiative by the Royal Bank of Canada to raise money to benefit the RBC/RBTT Children’s Cancer Fund. While it is not directly related to breast cancer, Lucille Lightbourne of the National Cancer Society of the TCI says it is a good time to support this important project.
“Pediatric cancer is a terrible disease, and families often need financial support when their children are being treated,” said Toure Holder, branch manager and country head of RBC. Donations are being accepted at the Royal Bank of Canada banking centre at the Mews Plaza off Leeward Highway or online at givehopesavelives.rbtt.com.
Make a difference this October and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For further information on these events, please call 231-4374, 231-6250 or 231-6894.
Help raise funds to assist people in the TCI when they have to go off island for treatment, and for education.
What you need to know
Who is at risk for developing breast cancer?
There are several risk factors for developing breast cancer. The primary one is age. As you age, your risk for developing breast cancer rises. Women ages 50 and older account for 77 percent of breast cancer cases.
What are some of the other risk factors?
What impact does a family history of breast cancer have on the risk of getting the disease?
If your mother or a sister was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50, your risk of developing the disease is higher. But most women with breast cancer don’t have close relatives with the disease, and most women who have a family history won’t develop it themselves.
What can be done to reduce the risks?
Your family history and your genes can’t be altered, but you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of breast cancers, including:
What is the importance of early detection?
Early detection has been shown to save lives and increase treatment options. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 97 percent among those whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at diagnosis.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
Physical symptoms include persistent breast changes, such as a lump, thickening, swelling, dimpling, skin irritation, distortion, retraction, scaliness, ulceration, pain and tenderness of the nipple or spontaneous nipple discharge.
On a mammogram, breast cancer appears as irregular images. During a clinical breast exam, your doctor may check the lymph nodes under your armpit and above your collarbone to see if they are enlarged or firm, an indication of a possible spread of breast cancer.
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