Know Your Facts
Submitted by African American Breast Cancer Alliance
1. All women are at risk for breast cancer. All breast problems must be checked.
2. African American/Black women under the age of 40 have more aggressive and deadly tumors, need earlier, more frequent breast cancer screenings, and aggressive medical treatment to increase their survival advantages.
3. Elderly Black women may be less aware of breast cancer risk factors or delay medical attention, which results in more advanced disease.
4. Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among Black women
5. Please know that MEN can also get breast cancer! The symptoms are the same as for women. If you find any signs as listed below, see your doctor to be checked immediately. Look at and feel your pectoral muscles for any changes such as:
o A lump in the pecs, chest, collarbone, nipples, torso, or underarms.
o Discharge or fluid from the nipples that is bloody, clear, pus-like, or smells bad.
o Skin changes that are bumpy, dark, different color, itchy, painful, rash-like, puckered, redness, sore/ulcer, shrunken, swollen, or tender.
o Take charge of your health: Learn about your family’s cancer history as cancer of the breast, colon, ovaries and prostate are related and either side can carry the gene.
o Reduce your alcohol and fat intake, reduce your weight, and increase your exercise.
A biopsy must be done for any strange breast change or condition!
Rule it out – early detection life saving treatments – find a cure!
Your Action Plan
Take charge of your breast health with a plan of action:
1. Monthly Breast Self-Exam (BSE)
2. Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) by your health care provider
3. Screening Mammogram, every year starting at age 35
4. If you don’t know how, “Ask somebody”. Seek early medical treatment; save your breasts, save your life.
Additional Information & Suggestions:
· Black/African American women under the age of 40 are more likely to develop breast cancer than white women in the same age bracket; tumors are more aggressive; and tend to be especially deadly.
· Because of the biological and racial differences in breast cancer mortality, research studies have concluded that early and frequent breast cancer screenings are essential to increasing the survival ad-vantages for Black women.
· While the nationally recommended age for mammograms and breast exams is age 40, the AABCA and other African American health officials recommend earlier breast cancer detection screenings and mammograms to help reduce the numbers of deaths within the Black population.
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