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Healthcare officials stress ‘mammograms, family history’ for mitigating breast cancer risks

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | November 17, 2016

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Although October represents the close of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is never out of season to heighten knowledge of statistics, new developments for lowering the risks or to learn life-saving advice on prevention and detection.

 

Health information resources are available for educating individuals and families on early detection techniques, which are crucial to combating the disease; topping the list are self-examinations, annual mammograms and knowing your family’s history.

 

The thought of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be devastating—all the more reason to get as many facts as possible to mitigate the probabilities of contracting the illness.

 

Sean Edmondson, captain, Fire Department, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, knows firsthand the impact of cancer’s injury and aftermath.

 

Edmondson lost both of his grandparents to cancer and has several friends who have gone through breast cancer treatment.

 

“Cancer itself is dear to my heart,” Edmondson said. “There are so many people who are affected by breast cancer,” he continued. “No matter what the doctors say; they think so many times that medically there is no hope, but the Lord always proves them wrong. By faith, the Lord can get us through anything; he has a purpose for everything and he will take us through it.”

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is a group of diseases that affects breast tissue, though it is much more common in women, both women and men can get breast cancer.

 

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Some women are at higher risk for breast cancer than others because of their personal or family medical history or because of certain changes in their genes.

 

Recent information reveals there are specific genetic factors, which may increase an individual’s risk for “BReast CAncer,” more particularly, the BRCA gene.

 

What is BRCA? The CDC website indicated, BRCA stands for breast cancer susceptibility genes. There are two BRCA genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2; mutations (changes) in BRCA genes increase risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers.

 

If one of your parents has a BRCA gene mutation, there’s a 50 percent chance you have it too.

 

The CDC stressed individuals find out the family’s history of breast and ovarian cancer.

 

Educating oneself of family history as well as various available options may be a life-saving step in reduction of breast cancer’s deadly statistics among females, as well as male victims.

 

Mammograms and self-examinations remain the leading recommendations by many healthcare officials for early detection of this harmful and sometimes deadly illness.

 

To learn more about BRCA and your risks for breast or ovarian cancer, visit the CDC’s website:
 http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/everyone_has_brca_genes_infographic.htm.
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