Breast Cancer Awareness Month – What you Need to Know

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month– here’s some tips from an expert on how to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages.

October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while we’ve already spent a lot of time talking about how to raise awareness about the disease and how to help those that are currently engaged with their diagnosis, we haven’t spent much time talking about what we can do to prevent being diagnosed ourselves. Thankfully, Brynne got to talk to the CEO of the association of women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nurses, Lynn Erdman.

Listen to Brynne’s interview with Lynn Erdman below!

Brynne: Thanks for being here and talking about an important issue that shouldn’t just be discussed in October, but since it is, what is this month and what is it supposed to be?

Lynn Erdman: It’s really an effort to raise awareness and promote the fact that women and men both can develop breast cancer. And so to make sure that we’re remembering—I know that people are diagnosed every day— but it’s important for us to remember that we might need to have a mammogram done if we’re a woman, or we might need to do that self-check to make sure we don’t feel any changes in our own breast, that kind of thing.

B: And you did mention that this is an issue that not only effects women, but also for men. What can men be doing to take precautions and try to detect breast cancer early?

LE: Sure. It’s a little bit different for men, and I will tell you that we see about 250,000 women that will be diagnosed this year alone with breast cancer, and about 2,500 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer. And with men, often, it’s a change that they notice. They may be in the shower, rubbing the soap across their chest, and it’s like, “Woah, I feel something!” It’s important for men not to ignore that.

B: What are three recommendations that you can share with us for detecting breast cancer at its early stages?

LE: I would say know your breast tissue. In other words, starting in your twenties, if you’re a woman, know the shape, the size, the feel of your breast, and periodically notice if there’s a change when you’re in the shower. In combination with that, you also need to have a mammogram if you’re a woman. Usually a baseline, if you’re between 30 and 40, and if you ever have a false positive, and they find out there isn’t anything, that can increase your risk if that persists. If you continue to have false positives, you want to be checked on a more regular basis.

B: Lynn, thank you so much for joining us, and just another friendly reminder of awareness in this National Breast Cancer awareness month.

B: And you did mention that this is an issue that not only effects women, but also for men. What can men be doing to take precautions and try to detect breast cancer early?

LE: Sure. It’s a little bit different for men, and I will tell you that we see about 250,000 women that will be diagnosed this year alone with breast cancer, and about 2,500 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer. And with men, often, it’s a change that they notice. They may be in the shower, rubbing the soap across their chest, and it’s like, “Woah, I feel something!” It’s important for men not to ignore that.

B: What are three recommendations that you can share with us for detecting breast cancer at its early stages?

LE: I would say know your breast tissue. In other words, starting in your twenties, if you’re a woman, know the shape, the size, the feel of your breast, and periodically notice if there’s a change when you’re in the shower. In combination with that, you also need to have a mammogram if you’re a woman. Usually a baseline, if you’re between 30 and 40, and if you ever have a false positive, and they find out there isn’t anything, that can increase your risk if that persists. If you continue to have false positives, you want to be checked on a more regular basis.

B: Lynn, thank you so much for joining us, and just another friendly reminder of awareness in this National Breast Cancer awareness month.

Learn more about breast cancer prevention here!

More on Guest Lynn Erdman & AWHONN

Lynn Erdman

Lynn is responsible for the overall strategic direction, leadership, and day-to-day operations of the association to include staff, the Executive Office, and section and chapter component activities.  She is also responsible for facilitating relationships with related groups and representing the association with a variety of external organizations, health care entities, for-profit companies and corporations and the media.  Lynn joined AWHONN in 2014 with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors.  She is a highly skilled national leader in the field of nursing and previously held key national leadership positions with three global health organizations: the American Cancer Society, the American College of Surgeons, and the Susan G. Komen Global Headquarters.  Lynn has also served in top leadership positions with several hospitals and healthcare systems.

 

AWHONN Logo

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization that promotes the health of women and newborns. Our mission is to improve and promote the health of women and newborns and to strengthen the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education and other professional and clinical resources to nurses and other health care professionals

 

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