By Kathy Monnin
Did you know that October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Months since 1985? It was founded by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries Pharmaceuticals to bring attention to the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in women. Statistically 1 in 8 women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer within their life. Skin cancer ranks first.
Each year in the United States, about 255,000 women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease. Although men can also get breast cancer it is not common, statistically 1 out of 100 in the United States.
Monthly self-examinations and yearly mammograms remain the best ways to find breast cancer early, and early detection remains the best defense. Early detection makes it easier to treat than when the cancer has had time to grow and spread to the lymph nodes and/or other parts of the body. Awareness and education are valuable tools used as a means of preventative measures. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. Having changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes is another important risk factor. Knowing the symptoms and signs of breast cancer is important.
The most common warning sign is a lump in the breast, or changes to the skin texture, redness or swelling. Other warning signs include tenderness in or around the nipples, changes in the lymph nodes, an enlargement of pores and/or discolored nipple discharge.
Insomnia is a symptom of breast cancer and is the most ignored. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms affecting a majority of patients. Stomach problems such as diarrhea, constipation or an upset stomach can be another symptom. Occasionally shortness of breath and problems such as headaches, dizziness and weakness are symptoms when the cancer has progressed to the lungs or brain.
Healthy lifestyle changes such as being a non-smoker, keeping your weight stable and under 30 BMI, exercising often, eating a healthy and balanced diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, and limiting your alcohol intake can significantly decrease your risk of breast cancer. It should be noted that use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy has been linked with breast cancer, as well as, dense breasts, previously abnormal breast biopsies, family health history and genetics.
Wearing pink clothing or the pink ribbon during the month of October is suggested as a way to raise public awareness and to women everywhere. If you are a woman over the age of 40 and you have not yet scheduled your mammogram, please make your appointment as soon as you can. Don’t delay, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure.
“October is breast cancer awareness month, but to a survivor, it’s every single day.” ~Unknown
“Pink is not just a color of a ribbon is a promise of hope.” ~Unknown
“Believe there is hope for a cure.”
“Wear pink for all the warriors”
Saturday, Oct. 16, there will be a Prayer Rosary Rally at the Heritage Park Amphitheater beginning at noon.
Saturday, Oct. 16, Athletic Boosters Dinner Auction begins at 6:30 p.m. For tickets or reservations please contact Stacie Dirksen at 937-404-8322. To donate items for the silent and live auctions please contact Julie Magoto at 937-417-6594.
Saturday, Oct. 16, The Ansonia American Legion has a smothered pork dinner from 5 to 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 17, Fried Chicken Benefit Dinner for Silas Dirksen’s medical expenses will be held at Goat Ranch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eat in or carry out. For tickets call Alan Gehret at 937-417-4137.
Sunday, Oct. 17, Singo in the Versailles Vets Club Bunker starting at 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 18, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. is a Memory Lane Dance held at the Greenville VFW. Open to the public, with music by Tom Everhart. Admission is $5 at the door.
Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. a Veterans Dinner will be served at the VHS Cafetorium. RSVP 937-526-4427.
Happy birthday wishes to Terry Buteau, Bernie Treon, Mary Lou Nerderman, Karen Siegel, Janel Grillot, Karen Meiring, Angie Hoelscher, Mason DeMange, Jane Agne, Lela Munn, Jerry Gasquez, Hayden Miller, Frances Walker, Karen Burt, Rachel Wellman, Mary Richard, Gina Hoying, as their birthdays approach as well as, anniversary wishes Kaley and Craig Wagner (9), Katie and Matthew Curtis (11), Kate and Clint Brewer (15), Jenny and Shane Weaver (20), Jenny and Nick Timmerman (21), Lisa and Kent Barga (36), Paula and Mike Darnell (44), and all those couples celebrating anniversaries but not named.
Please extend your heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Patricia Hubbard (91), Robert Rindler (93), Germaine Steinbrunner (95), and all those who have passed and those who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the sick, terminally ill, caregivers, all those who have lost loved ones, the lonely, the addicted, and all who are struggling.
As an act of kindness, find something you are passionate about, such as, volunteering to be part of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life or taking people to their doctor, chemotherapy, or radiation appointments. Or just send someone an encouraging card when you know they need to be elevated.
Kathy Monnin is a volunteer citizen columnist. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 423-0914. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.