Biomedical Engineering Blog

Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to engineering principles of the medical field. Here, you'll find everything from discussions about emerging medical technologies to advances in medical research. The blog's owner, Chelsey H, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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Think Pink This Month

Posted October 09, 2012 12:00 AM by Chelsey H

Pink is the color this month for Breast Cancer Awareness. Last year I wrote about advances in breast cancer research, but this year I wanted to take a step back and discuss preventive measures and proactive choices that women (and men) can take to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer.

Image Credit: Social Psychology

There are many myths surrounding breast cancer. Most people know that a lump in your breast is correlated to cancer, however only a small percentage of lumps turn out to be cancer and lumps are not the only sign of breast cancer.

Symptoms can also include skin irritation or dimpling. Any changes in breast tissue, including pain or redness of the nipple, should be checked by a doctor. If caught early, up to 98% of women survive at least 5 years and advances in treatments have increased the survival rate up to 10 years for 85 to 90% of women. Image Credit: Adam

It's also important to remember that women aren't the only ones to get breast cancer. Men also have breast tissue and are therefore at risk. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 2,190 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2012. Increased risk factors for men include a family history, chronic liver disorders, alcoholism, and obesity. Family history of breast cancer and aging aren't the best indication of risk since 80 to 85% percent of women with breast cancer have had no family history of the disease and 25% of women with breast cancer are younger than 50.

Image Credit: MFHS

A healthy life style is the basis for preventing a wide range of illnesses and it's no different for reducing your risk for developing breast cancer. Exercising, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and limiting alcohol consumption will keep you healthier. You should also know your risk by learning your family history, and your personal risk level.

Most importantly, know yourself and your body.

Women age 40 and above should get a yearly mammogram. However mammograms aren't perfect; it's critical that you know what's normal for your body and learn how to administer a

self-breast exam. See your doctor if you notice any changes.

Image Credit: American Cancer Society

In the meantime, take some time to support breast cancer awareness movements and cancer research fundraisers. The Susan G. Koman for the cure group has events throughout the year, the American Cancer Society has the Making Strides Walk, and small businesses all over the country are participating (including this tattoo shop). Sports teams and restaurants are sporting pink in their uniforms and dishes. The easiest thing to do -- wear some pink today!

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Re: Think Pink This Month

10/09/2012 12:00 PM

I am glad you mentioned that men also get breast cancer. This is sometimes overlooked in the media. I know of men and women that have survived breast cancer in recent years, so the survival rate is increasing with improved treatment and early detection.

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Re: Think Pink This Month

10/14/2012 11:22 AM

This weekend, the American Cancer Society is sponsoring a run in Moss Point, Ms. The run takes place across a high rise bridge and everyone is asked to donate a "BRA" which will be tied together and stretched across the bridge. Along with pink, there will be bras of every color.

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