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Breast Cancer Awareness is more than pink shirts

Dear Editor,

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is an annual campaign to increase one’s awareness and knowledge of the disease that strikes over 250,000 women a year. Here in Lanett President Bessie Jackson and the members of Lambda Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc is focusing on Target 2 of the sorority’s National Initiative: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. Our aim is to inform as many women as possible about improving and maintaining their health in different areas.

Statistics state that 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer. When it comes to breast cancer, everyone should be hands-on. Every woman should know if she or a family member is at risk and know the various signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

It is reported that age, obesity, breast density, family history, lack of physical activity, too much alcohol consumption, and race are some of the determining factors for getting breast cancer.

Breast cancer knows no color or gender; however, African -American women have the lowest survival rate. Early detection/diagnosis remains the key to breast cancer survival. It is important that every woman does a monthly breast self-check. Check for lumps and other unusual changes in the breast such as new dimpling on the skin, nipple inversion, nipple discharge, changes in breast size and shape.

These changes don’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but inform your doctor immediately of any abnormalities and schedule a mammogram. It is also important that women forty and above have a yearly mammogram. The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Follow your doctor’s advice.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is not only about wearing pink ribbons and tee-shirts with cute slogans.

It’s about taking preventive measures so that you can stay breast cancer-free, stop the spread of breast cancer, or be a breast cancer survivor.

It’s about supporting, donating, and informing. Join Lambda Zeta Omega and become informed and proactive in the fight against breast cancer.

MARY A. BROWN

LANETT, AL