The Three Things About Breast Cancer No One Talks About

The statistics about breast cancer are scary. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide (there were nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012). In the U.S., aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women. In 2016, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancer. This October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, take some time to learn a few things about the disease you may not know.

  1. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re going to need a support group. It’s common to react with denial when you are first diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, you may not think to ask for support right away. But asking for help can make you feel less alone in your journey, while allowing your loved ones to share your fears, hopes and triumphs every step of the way. Your family and friends will be able to help you make decisions throughout your diagnosis or keep your mind off things with activities like family gatherings and exercise. Beyond your friends and family, you might also need support from community-wide group or organization. See a list of those organizations in Michigan here.
  2. Breast cancer doesn’t just affect the person diagnosed. Family members of someone diagnosed can find themselves grappling with their own fears and anxiety. It’s important to know that being a family member or caregiver of a loved one diagnosed with cancer can be incredibly stressful. If you find yourself struggling with the stress of caring for a loved one, remember to take time for yourself and your own mental health. You can do this by taking walks – or doing whatever helps you unwind from stressful days.
  3. Breast cancer can happen to men. You tend to hear a lot more about women being affected by breast cancer, but it’s important to remember that the disease occurs in men too. While rarer, about 2,600 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year. That’s why it’s so important to know the symptoms for either yourself or the men in your life. The symptoms of male breast cancer include:
  • Painless lump or thickening in breast tissue
  • Changes to the skin covering the breast, like dimpling, redness or scaling
  • Changes to the nipple, such as redness or it begins to turn inward
  • Discharge from your nipple

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, the first step is to see your doctor to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

We hope that you feel more knowledgeable about breast cancer and the ways in which more people than one are affected by a diagnosis, and the fact that men can develop the cancer too.

Photo credit: DixieBelleCupcakeCafe

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