Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Believe Helps Fight Breast Cancer

Through the end of October, Believe is joining 1,000 salons nationwide to support "Pink Hair For Hope"-- a fundraiser that has already raised more than $2 million to help fight breast cancer. For $10, clients can add a striking pink hair extension to show their support of this great cause. (Yes, the $10 includes application and removal--though you may come to love your colorful new addition so much, you may want to make it permanent!) And, best of all, every cent goes to support the American Cancer Society's fight against breast cancer.

It's a fight that needs fighting. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 212,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the USA in 2010, adding to the 2.3 million women in the USA with a history of breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It differs by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.

Here's one startling fact: Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
 According to the National Cancer Institute:
      One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
      When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%.
      Over 30% of women are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage.
Know Your Risk
Risk factors for breast cancer include:

Age: Half of all women diagnosed are over age 65.
Weight: Being obese or overweight.
Diet & Lifestyle: Lack of activity, a diet high in saturated fat, and more than two drinks per day.
Menstrual & Reproductive History: Early menstruation or late menopause, having your first child
at an older age or not having given birth, or taking birth control pills for more than ten years if you are
under 35.
Family & Personal History: A family history of breast cancer—particularly a mother, sister. or
a personal history of breast cancer of benign (non-cancer) breast disease.
Medical & Other Factors: Dense breast tissue (often identified by a mammogram), past radiation
therapy to the breast or chest area. A history of hormone treatments—such as estrogen and
progesterone, or gene changes— including BRCA1, BRCA2, and others.
You can get more information by using the National Cancer Institute's Assessment Tool.

Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms:
A change in how the breast or nipple feels:
You may experience nipple tenderness or notice a lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.

A change in how the breast or nipple looks: 
This could mean a change in the size or shape of the breast or a nipple that is turned slightly inward. In addition, the skin of the breast, areola or nipple may appear scaly, red or swollen or may have ridges or pitting that resembles the skin of an orange.
Nipple discharge.

Breast Self-Exam (BSE)
Taking a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once a month can make a lifetime of difference. Nearly 70% of all breast abnormalities are found through self-exams. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don't panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

How to do a breast self-examination: 
In the Shower
Fingers flat, move gently over every part of each breast. Use your right hand to examine the left breast, left hand for the right breast. Check for any lump, hard knot, or thickening. Carefully observe any changes in your breasts.
Before a Mirror
Inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in the contour of each breast, a swelling, a dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Then rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women's breasts do.
Lying Down
Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head. With the fingers of your left hand flat, press your right breast gently in small circular motions, moving vertically or in a circular pattern covering the entire breast.
Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.
At Believe, we not only care about your beauty, but your well-being. Please take time to learn more about breast cancer and how early detection--including self-examination can help you detect it early. And come in to Believe Beauty Lounge to support our "Pink Hair For Hope" fundraiser now through the end of October. Your $10 can really help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.