Volume 1  Number 9  October 2022

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the online magazine of 
The National Library of Patient Rights & Advocacy

what you will find inside the October issue ...

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by Julianna Celestin

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The Monthly Dose is hosted and produced by Rayah Hammad.

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from the desk of the Managing Editor

Welcome to the October issue of Today's Patient. It is my pleasure to guide you for the first time through this special issue in my new role of Managing Editor of our online magazine. You will notice some new sections including Women's Health, a section on Positive Mental Health, and our third new section called To Your Health!. Be sure to check out my article in the Women's Health section, and all of the other informative and valuable articles written by our celebrated editorial team. Welcome to October.

Bri Allison


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Julianna Celestin

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be dated back to October of 1985. The first organized effort to bring attention to the imminent dangers of breast cancer occurred in the United States through the partnership of the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries Pharmaceuticals. The initial mission of National Breast Cancer Awareness month was to adequately educate women about breast cancer and the considerable importance of early detection.

Breast cancer is the most common non cutaneous malignancy and the second most lethal form of cancer among women in the United States as cited by the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Invariably affecting both women and men, breast cancer is among the most common cancers. According to the National Breast cancer Foundation, one in eight women will develop breast cancer. As of January 2021, there are approximately more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States; including women currently being treated, and women who have finished triumphantly treatment per the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow and divide uncontrollably, creating a mass of tissue called a tumor. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. There are different kinds of breast cancer. The type of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.

What are the early signs of breast cancer?

Breast cancer symptoms can vary for each individual.

Per the World Health Organization signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A breast lump or thickening

  • Alteration insize. Shape, or appearance of breast.

  • Dimpling, redness, pitting, or other alteration in the skin.

  • Change in nipple appearance or alteration in the skin surrounding the nipple (areola).

  • Abnormal nipple discharge.

However, some individuals do not notice any signs of breast cancer at all. That is why routine mammograms are significantly important.

What causes Breast Cancer? Who is at Risk for Breast Cancer?

Comprehensive studies have invariably shown the considerable risk for breast cancer is due to a complex combination of contributing factors. Cited by the Cleveland Clinic, leading experts do not know exactly what causes this gradual process to progressively develop. However, researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer. However, some women will develop breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not automatically indicate the development of breast cancer, and not all risk factors exert a comparable effect.

Gender:  women are more likely to develop breast cancer

Age : the risk for breast cancer increases with age.

Genetic Mutations: According to Mayo Clinic, doctors estimate that approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1(BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2).

Breast Cancer in Men

Male breast cancer is a rare cancer that forms in the breast tissue of men. Although breast cancer is most often found in women, men can get breast cancer as well. According to the National Cancer Institute,  approximately 1 out of every 100 breast cancers are diagnosed in the United States.

The meaning behind the Pink Ribbon

The ribbon subsequently started its journey in breast cancer awareness with the light Peach color by Charlotte Harley, a breast cancer survivor who sent thousands of cards with peach ribbons pinned to raise awareness about the apparent lack of government funding for cancer prevention in 1991. Haley had immediate family members that struggled mightily with breast cancer, including her granddaughter, her sister, and her beloved daughter. And her peach-colored ribbons raised awareness for the limited government funds being utilized for research on breast cancer.

In 1993, Alexandra Penney, the then-editor of Self Magazine, wanted to create a ribbon for the second Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue. Penney worked with cosmetic giant and Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies, Evelyn Lauder, who herself was a breast cancer survivor. Penney and Lauder contacted Haley about furthering the peach-colored ribbons, but she respectfully declined, and invariably refused to grant them the right to utilize the peach-colored ribbon. To avoid legal issues, Penney and Lauder promptly changed the peach-colored ribbon to pastel pink. The pastel pink ribbon quickly became popular, and countless millions were distributed by Lauder. To this day, it is utilized as one of the biggest ways to raise awareness for comprehensive education and extensive research on breast cancer.

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Julianna Celestin is an ambitious-driven graduate from Florida State University, where she has respectively obtained degrees in Family & Child Sciences and Public Health with a Minor in Child Development. She maintains academic plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare and later a Ph.D. in Public Health with a specific concentration in Health Systems Research. Julianna possesses an immense interest in adequately providing better healthcare while simultaneously equitably distributing adequate resources and high-quality care to those in fundamental need. She is passionately committed to progressively improving the social efficiency and quality of healthcare services that are being provided and not provided to those underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable.

October 2022 page 1

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