Florida A&M University Student Writer
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; African-American women should pay special attention. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, claims African-American women are more likely than all other women to die from breast cancer. The office states tumors found in black women are typically found at a more progressive stage, so there are fewer treatment opportunities. African-American are also more likely to get a more aggressive form of breast cancer. These aggressive forms spread quicker than others.
The Office of Women’s Health states other reasons for black women being the leading demographic to fall victim to breast cancer, because many aren’t able to get health care. Even though some African-American women are eligible for health care, they lack confidence in the health care industry. Others simply aren’t aware of the dangers of breast cancer.
It is projected nearly 40,000 African-American women will die from cancer in 2013. Twenty percent of those deaths will be related to breast cancer.
Listed below are some preventive measures:
• Know your family health history. According to the American Cancer Society, 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are said to occur from genetics. The risk is higher for women whose close relatives have breast cancer.
• Stay fit. Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer. African-American women are more likely to be obese than other races. Four out of five black women are overweight or obese. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. A brisk 30-minute walk around the neighborhood is a great example.
• Watch what you eat and drink. A healthy diet includes an adequate amount of vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Replace sugary drinks with water. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Avoid drinking alcohol.
• Don’t smoke. Research shows that smoking leads to an increased risk of breast cancer.
• Do a breast self-exam each month. The best time to do an exam is three to seven days after your period. Monthly examinations help a woman become familiar with her breast tissue, thus making it easier to detect any lumps.
Following these measures may decrease the risk of developing breast cancer and increase your understanding of the disease. These preventive measures will ensure a healthier lifestyle for you and the women in your life.
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