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Breast Cancer awareness month is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.
Some of the top Breast Cancer Charities are Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which was founded by Evelyn Lauder, a breast cancer survivor. She is also the senior corporate vice president of The Estee Lauder Companies. She found Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help fund research and raise public awareness.
Another top Breast Cancer Charity is Susan G. Komen Foundation. This foundation has raised awareness, supported research and paid for community health and education programs around the world since its beginning in 1982.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer is another foundation that was founded in 1991 by Marisa C. Weiss. She is a radiation oncologist who started the charity from her home with support for local volunteers. This foundation’s initial mission was to provide information and support to women with breast cancer after completing breast cancer treatment. According to their website, in recent years they have expanded that help to women and men across the spectrum of diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survival. They also offer support to caregivers and healthcare providers devoted to the care of those living with breast cancer.
National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by Janelle Hail, a breast cancer survivor herself. This is a Texas based charity that devotes over 80% of its funds to programs. In addition to providing free mammograms to women in need.
Finally, is METAvivo, which is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of women with metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic breast cancer affects up to 30% of women with early stage breast cancer and is diagnosed in 6% of women on their first diagnosis.
What is breast cancer? It is cancer that develops in the breast cells and progresses in stages. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, cancer develops in the tissues of the breast, affecting both men and women due to different reasons like family history or changes in genes and progress through stages.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation says breast cancer symptoms are a lump or mass in the breast that feels different from the surrounding tissue, a breast rash, changes in the skin over the breast, breast pain, inverted nipple, scaling, peeling or even flaking skin over the breast, redness or pitting of the breast skin and discharge from the nipple.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer says the treatment is primarily based on the type and stage of cancer. Most common treatment is chemotherapy.
The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown but may include, family history, hormonal changes, ethnicity, personal history of breast cancer, lifestyle, including alcohol consumption, obesity and over weight are just a few causes that the Breast Cancer Research Foundation reports.
Self-examination is the key to early detection. The American Cancer Society recommends women between the ages of 45 – 54 get mammograms every year and women 55 years and older should switch to mammograms screening every two years. You should also check with your primary health care provider on the guidelines they want you to follow.