October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness MonthThis time I would like to draw your attention on something not related to our main point of interest, ephedrine.
As you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and after a short discussion with my beloved wife who deals with cancers every day, we thought that “every little bit helps” and together we decided to send you this short message.

What is it about?

It is about this disease that has been fought for decades and is still destroying the life of so many people, women essentially but also some men.
Here are the facts taken from the Avon Foundation for Women in the 8th Edition of their Resource Guide:

•  More than 40,000 women and 400 men die each year from the disease.
• There are more than 2 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
• One person is diagnosed approximately every 3 minutes, and one person dies of breast cancer approximately every 14 minutes.

Why is it important?

It is important to understand that knowledge and solidarity can save lives. We all have mothers, sisters, daughters and all other female relatives and friends that are concerned or have a high risk to be concerned at one moment, and again prevention is crucial. Excellent treatment exists but even before treatment the risks can be reduced, thus if we can influence in any way, we would be happy to contribute.

Main factors that affect the risk of Breast Cancer

• Alcohol
• Nutrition (overweight, too much red meats and not enough vegetables and fruits)
• Exercise – we all know the strong relation between regular physical activity and health
• Family History: having a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer doubles your risk
• Reproductive History: no children, first child after 30, age at onset of menstruation and menopause all play a role
• Smoking, especially during childhood, puberty and pregnancy

Why are you concerned?

The probability is high to be concerned directly or indirectly at one moment, and even being informed is step in the right direction, considering the importance of prevention compared to treatment.

What can you do?

National Breast Cancer Awareness MonthMany things. Depending on your personal situation, you can:
support financially if you can afford
inform people where possible
– attend to special events such as the Avon Walk
take part to studies by joining the “Army of Women“, a group of volunteers who partner with researchers. You know that medicine is progressing thanks to studies, some interventional and some observational as described in detail in our pages: taking part to a cohort study, case-control study or cross-sectional study doesn’t take much time (answering a few questions over a certain period of time) and provide scientists with useful data that will orientate future research and probably save many lives.

Where can you find further information?

A good starting place is the National Cancer Institute and then the already mentioned Avon Foundation for Women, founded in the U.S. in 1955 and now synonym of fight against breast cancer. The Avon Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps all women but tries also to focus on women who need it more, for instance poor, uninsured, minority women who have less access to breast cancer screening and treatment.

Conclusion

Try to do what you can. Do the right thing.

Mike Budd.

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