Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Black To Life… For A Healthier You

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Taking charge of our lives

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES

For information about examinations, please contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640, or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

Tragically, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in black women. It is not that we are more prone to the disease than other ethnic groups, but unfortunately too many African-American women are not diagnosed and treated until the disease has reached advanced stages.

Though sensitive to the many socioeconomic issues that contribute to this unfortunate reality, I truly believe that we can reduce those mortality rates. I am also convinced that by taking a proactive stance in the fight against cancer, we have the power to swing the pendulum in our favor.

First, let’s be clear on the facts:

  • Black women are less likely than white women to develop breast cancer, yet die of the disease at higher rates.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among black women between 45-64 years of age.
  • Black women between the ages of 45-64 have a 60 percent higher breast cancer death rate than white women.
  • Black women are twice as likely to develop triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease which has fewer effective treatment options.
  • The survival rate of black women with breast cancer is five years shorter than their white counterparts.

At one time or another in our lives, we have to fight for something we are
passionate about. With that, I tell you that we have to fight for our lives against breast cancer by getting our required yearly mammograms and gynecological checkups. The love and gifts you give to the world and your
friends and family make you worth it. You must accept your worth, and realize that the world needs you to be an advocate for your health.

Many women with early breast cancer have no symptoms. Denser breasts, which are common among black women, make it harder to detect small cancer tissue, which can sometimes be concealed.

That is why regular breast screenings or self-breast exams are mandatory. Some of the signs that women need to pay attention to include swelling of all or part of the breast; skin irritation or dimpling of the breast; pain in the breast or nipple; thickening of the nipple or breast; and any discharge from the nipple other than breast milk.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, let’s all “Caravan for Mammogram” and strive for a “Healthier You!”

For more information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640, or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane, No. 165 (1st floor), in Las Vegas.


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