October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Valerie Grayson, USS Peleliu (LHA 5) Public Affairs  
USS PELELIU - At Sea - The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month which seeks to make women and men aware of the symptoms, treatments, counseling, and fund raising associated with breast cancer.

Many foundations have been created to help cure breast cancer and help the women and men along with their families cope. Some of these foundations include the American Breast Cancer Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Susan G. Komen for the CureĀ® is one of the largest and most-active in the community, spurring research against breast cancer. According to its website, www.komen.org, the foundation was established in 1982 by Komen's sister, Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her dying sister that, "she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever."

Breast cancer is tumors inside of the breast tissue caused by an out of control growth in cells. These tumors can be malignant or benign. A malignant tumor is an abnormal growth that can spread to other tissues and parts of the body. When a tumor is malignant in breast tissue, this is breast cancer. A benign tumor is not cancerous and does not spread. When they are
removed, reappearance is rare.

Breast cancer does not only affect women. According to the Komen website, 2,190 men will be diagnosed and 410 are expected to die in the United States in 2012. Known symptoms and factors that increase a male's risk of breast cancer is genetic mutations such as Klinefelter's Disease, other family members diagnosed with breast cancer, chronic liver disorders, alcoholism, obesity, and aging.

Breast cancer can be detected and treated early through mammograms, clinical breast exams, and other screenings and tests. According to the Komen website, women 40 years old and older should get mammograms every year. However, if you have a family history, testing and screening should be performed before the age of 40. Self examinations may also be performed and are recommended between clinical visits.

"If you have a mother or a sister with breast cancer, go to a doctor earlier to discuss what you need to do and the different screenings available," said Cmdr. Gretchen Riss, Peleliu's senior medical officer. "Be aware of what's out there. Doctors will try to detect it early, but in the end it's up to us to take care of our bodies."

For more information on how to perform a self exam or to schedule a clinical exam contact your medical service provider.
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