Facts & Statistics

HOW WILL YOUR FAMILY DO WITHOUT YOU?

If you’re woman over the age of 40, you’re at greater risk for breast cancer. In fact, 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50.

EARLY DETECTION CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.

A Mammogram and Pap test can find breast and cervical cancer at the earliest stages – when they are easiest to treat. The sooner you know, the better your chances to treat it. That’s why an annual mammogram and Pap test are so important when you are older.

WHAT IS A MAMMOGRAM?

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast that can find breast cancer that is too small for you or your doctor to feel. If you are 50 or older, it is very important to get a mammogram every year.

HOW IS A MAMMOGRAM DONE?

You will stand in front of a machine. You will place your breast between two plastic plates. The plates will press your breast and make it flat. This may be uncomfortable for a minute, but it helps to get a clear picture. You will have x-rays of one breast at a time. It will only take a few minutes.

WHAT IS A PAP TEST AND PELVIC EXAM?

A Pap test is a way to look at cells from the cervix and the vagina. It can show if you have cervical cancer early – when it is easier to cure. A pelvic exam is an exam of your vaginal area to see if you have any signs of infection or other problems.

HOW IS A PAP TEST AND PELVIC EXAM DONE?

The doctor or nurse will check your tubes, ovaries and uterus. They will use a swab to take a few cells from your cervix. A lab will check these cells for cancer or other problems.
YES. Breast cancer is a major health concern for black women, too!

  • All women are at risk for breast cancer, and the risk increases as you get older.
  • Breast cancer is a leading cause of death from cancer among African-American women.
  • Breast cancer death rates are higher for black women than they are for white women. One important reason for this difference is that more black women have their disease diagnosed after it has spread to other parts of their body. This reduces options for treatment and chances of survival.

WHY? Some reasons:

  • We are not having routine mammograms.
  • We are not getting regular physicals and breast exams by a doctor, nurse or health professional.
  • We are not doing monthly breast self-examinations (BSE).
  • We are waiting too long after finding a lump to see doctor.
  • We don’t know the other signs or symptoms of breast cancer.
  • We are afraid to talk and learn more about breast cancer.
  • African-American women tend to have more aggressive breast cancers at younger ages, according to research studies. (Women under age 40 that have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should ask their doctors about starting mammogram screening and yearly clinical breast exams earlier.

Please, do not let myths, feelings of embarrassment, shyness or fear of cancer keep you from the medical attention that could save your life. Many black women are alive and well today because of early detection and early treatment.

YOUR HEALTH Is in your hands…

 

Breast changes are common in all women. Learning how to detect breast cancer should be a part of every woman’s life. It is important to:

  • Get regular physicals and breast examinations from your doctor or nurse.
  • Get a mammogram.
  • Do your monthly breast self-examination (BSE).

Schedule a medical appointment immediately if you find:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area.
  • Skin that is dimpled, puckered, red or scaly.
  • An unusual discharge from the nipple that is clear, bloody, greenish, milky or pus.
  • A painful, swollen, warm feeling in the breast or nipple, other than during your menstrual cycle.
  • A change in the color, shape or size of the breast or armpit area.
  • A nipple that was drawn in (inverted) but wasn’t always that way.