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June is Men’s Health Month — Sam’s Club Offering Free Health Screening

With the arrival of Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day in June, Sam’s Club locations that have pharmacies are offering free health screenings this Saturday.sams-club-health-screeningsjpg

Available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the screenings valued at $250 include tests for the prostate-specific antigen, blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL, risk ratio, glucose and body mass index. Vision tests are available at some locations.

The free and confidential health screenings are available to Sam’s Club members and the public.

“Sam’s Club is proud to make it easier for these men to be proactive about their health by offering free screenings, including a PSA test for prostate cancer,” Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president of Sam’s Club Health and Wellness, said in a press release. “We hope everyone stops by their local club to participate and to show dad just how much they care.”

  Sam’s Club locations with pharmacies are offering free health screenings to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, 2015. (Courtesy / Sam’s Club)                    

Aggressive Procedure Does Not Improve Survival

Majority of breast cancer patients did not know the aggressive procedure does not improve survival

A survey of women with breast cancer found that nearly half considered having a double mastectomy. But of those who considered it, only 37 percent knew that the more aggressive procedure does not improve survival for women with breast cancer.

Among women who received a double mastectomy, 36 percent believed it would improve their survival. Studies have shown that for women at average risk of a second cancer, removing the unaffected breast does not meaningfully improve survival.

The study, which was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, looked at 1,949 women who had been treated for breast cancer. About 20 percent of the women surveyed had both breasts removed, a procedure called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Even among patients without a genetic mutation or family history that might put them at risk of developing cancer in the other breast, 19 percent had double mastectomy.

“Our finding that so many women are receiving much more extensive surgery than needed to treat their disease is striking. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are naturally eager to do everything in their power to fight the disease. So many of my patients tell me that they just want to do everything they can to be there for their kids. It is up to us, as doctors, to make sure they understand which treatments are really going to do that, and which actions might seem heroic but are actually not expected to improve the outcomes for a typical woman with early stage breast cancer,” says lead study author Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Surgeon recommendations – or perceptions of surgeon recommendations – played a big role. Only 4 percent of women who said their surgeon recommended against double mastectomy had the procedure. But 59 percent of women who perceived their surgeon to recommend it had double mastectomy.

“Patients are coming away with perceptions that really require adjustments. Doctors need to address the jaw-dropping gap between knowledge of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy and the perception of what their surgeons are telling them,” says study author Steven J. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health.

 

Citations

MLA
University of Michigan Health System. “Study finds misperceptions about impact of double mastectomy .” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 3 Jun. 2015. Web.
10 Jun. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/294840.php>


APA
University of Michigan Health System. (2015, June 3). “Study finds misperceptions about impact of double mastectomy .” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/294840.php.

 

 References

The study was conducted by the Cancer Surveillance and Outcome Research Team, a multi-institution research group based at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center focused on issues related to cancer quality of care. Jagsi and Katz are also members of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute P01-CA-163233

Disclosure: None

Reference: American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, May 29-June 2, 2015, Abstract #1011

University of Michigan Health System

 

Many breast cancer patients have poor knowledge about their condition

A new study published in the journal Cancer reveals that many women with breast cancer in the US do not know much about their condition, with minority women being less likely to report accurate information about their tumors than white women.

This is thought to be the first study to find out how much patients understand about their particular cancer as opposed to cancer in general.

The researchers say the findings show there is a gap in patient education.

Helping patients understand their condition has many benefits, not least in making better informed treatment decisions, reducing the risk of developing new conditions and taking care of general health.

For the study, Rachel Freedman, a physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and colleagues surveyed 500 women with breast cancer.

The women were asked questions about the grade, stage and receptor status (the cancer subtype) of their breast cancer.

The results showed that while 32-82% said they knew each of the tumor characteristics they were asked about, only 20-58% could actually specify them correctly.

White women seem more knowledgeable about their particular breast cancer

White women were more likely to know the features of their cancers than black or Hispanic women. This was the case even when the researchers corrected for potential influencing factors such as health literacy and socioeconomic status.

However, they found health literacy and educational attainment did explain some of the knowledge gaps in Hispanic women but health literacy had little effect on the findings for black women.

Prof. Freedman says their findings show there is a lack of understanding among many patients about their particular cancers. She notes that the study identifies a “critical need for improved patient education and provider awareness of this issue,” and adds:

“Improving patients’ understanding about why a particular treatment is important for her individual situation may lead to more informed decisions and better adherence to treatment.”

Increased knowledge about her condition and the particular features of her own tumor will also help a woman understand the reasons behind a particular personalized therapy.

This can increase trust and confidence, as well as satisfaction, with the professionals providing her care and treatment, say the researchers.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there are currently about 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US. However, while death rates of the disease among American women have been falling since 1989, breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.

The chance that breast cancer will be the reason for a woman’s death in the US is about 3% – or 1 in 36 – say the ACS, whose estimates show that about 40,290 women will die from breast cancer in 2015.

Meanwhile, Medical News Today recently learned about a JAMA study that found racial disparities in diagnosis and survival rates of breast cancer in the US. The researchers discovered that the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the early stages, and the chances of surviving after such a diagnosis, may be influenced by race and ethnicity, and that biological differences may be a key factor.

 

HOW PINK CAN YOU GO?

HOW PINK CAN YOU REALLY GO? SEND US YOUR PICTURES OF HOW OUTRAGEOUS YOU SUPPORT #BreastCancerAwareness FOR A SPECIAL GIFT!

DEADLINE OCTOBER 15TH. THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS PICTURE WINS!!! SEND TO: info@bckshirt.com with Let’s Go Pink in the Subject line! Share with your friends! LET’S GO PINK!BCK-Branded Ribbon

ABC News Anchor: “A Mammogram Saved My Life”

Sometimes, we are awakened in the middle of the night by dreams or needing a drink of water. But sometimes we are awakened by things that we carry deep in our hearts or things that are so heavy on our minds, like a new idea, or a vision that we can’t wait to write on paper.  In my case it was something more, something I like many others in the fight against breast cancer have been screaming for many years, “early detection of breast cancer can save your life”. Such a simple statement that’s been taken for granted for years but yet it is a call to action…take charge of your health. It’s been my personal mantra and that of this company for many, many years.

So when I heard that another ABC News Anchor, Amy Robach just 40 years old was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, my heart sank. Not because I know Amy personally, but because I know her story. It’s a story that I’ve heard countless times and my reaction is always the same…one of sadness and always a constant reminder that there is still so much more work to be done. Amy who was persuaded to have an on camera mammogram on GMA Good Morning America because she is 40 years old and it was breast cancer awareness month did the mammogram to encourage other women to do the same. What happened next is something that no one could have planned or predicted, and the beginning of a journey that I’m pretty certain she had not planned or wanted. Amy like many women, myself included get so busy with life, family and work that we don’t always take the time to take-care of ourselves… first.

As the Founder and CEO of this company and it’s products, it is my sincerest hope and prayer not only for Amy but that young women wake up, listen, take action, take charge of your health! If you’re 40 years old or older get a mammogram, do a breast self exam. It’s just that simple. Young women, take the time to learn more about breast health, you’re not to young to do that or do a breast self exam. I think I was awakened at 3am this morning to tell you that whether you use our product or not, you simply can not afford to do nothing. I’m no different than Amy, or you and the many women that get so caught up in everyday life, running a business and taking care of others that I forget at times to take care of myself or my health. So I send myself reminders on every communication device I own; annoying yes, life saving, for sure! Challenge yourself, get real about your health. It is the one thing that will for sure stop you dead in your tracks if you neglect it.

Last week with the help of some good friends we ran a campaign that showcased young African American women wearing our product, the Breast Chek Kit. The idea of that piece was to show that young women get breast cancer, and that African American women have the highest mortality rates of any other race of women from breast cancer. It was also to show that breast cancer has no face, it does not care about your race, what you do for a living, or if you’re rich or poor.

Listen to Amy’s story, it’s real, it’s now. You owe it to yourself and  those who love you to take care and take charge of your health. Until there is a cure for Breast Cancer, I will continue to stand on this soap box that early detection saves lives and I’ll forever and always believe that through education and with the Breast Chek Kit we can help take some of the fear and anxiety out of doing a breast self exam. Like I said above remind yourself of how important you are to YOU!

 

 

The Breast Chek Kit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer With Catherines Stores

In Store Event Beads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our in-store display with Catherine’s stores. Many have asked about the beaded necklace on our model. No it’s not a fashion statement.

The beads are an educational tool that we use while doing demonstrations by placing the beads under The Breast Chek Shirt to give women a sense of what a lump might feel like under skin and breast tissue. It also shows the various sizes of lumps that could be found.

The necklace consists of six different sizes of wood beads (two each except for the largest bead): 3 mm, 7 mm, 9 mm, 13 mm, 25 mm, and 37 mm.

• 3 mm bead represents the size of lump first found by a woman receiving a mammogram every year or two.

• 7 mm bead represents the size of a lump found on a woman’s first mammogram (if she had been procrastinating)

• 9 mm represents the size of a lump found by a health care provider giving a clinical breast exam (Probably Stage I tumor)

• 13 mm found by a woman who performs BSE’s every month (this can still be considered a Stage I tumor)

• 25 mm found by a woman who occasionally performs a self exam (Most likely a Stage II tumor)

• 37 mm found by a woman who rarely or never performs a self exam.

Doing a monthly breast self exam helps women become more familiar with their breast and having a routine mammogram starting at age 40 is your best defense for detecting abnormalities in the breast early.

The Breast Chek Kit’s New Branded Pink Ribbon

BCK-Branded Ribbon  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. In a world of Pink Ribbons, we set out on a journey to have an exclusive ribbon designed for our brand that represents the vast ethnicities of women around the globe.  We wanted something strong, bold and beautiful in hues that represent all women. Thankfully, we found Didi a designer in Bulgaria that brought the vision to life. Little did I know that it would take 2 years and many revisions to decide on this particular ribbon.

What we also found was that language and time difference was not a barrier when it came down to talking about women’s health as it relates to Breast Cancer and educating women on the importance of early detection. While we spoke very different languages and live in very different cultures there was and is a commonality that touched us both and what she captured and delivered was the spirit of what I envisioned and exactly what I wanted. Our hope is that whenever this ribbon is seen, that it not only represents our brand, but that it becomes a symbol for women to recognize that we are all strong, bold and beautiful and that early detection saves lives. Feel free to share your comments on our new ribbon!

The Breast Chek Kit Teams Up With American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast CancerBreast Chek, Inc. is excited  and honored to team up with the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for the 2013 National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

This is an incredible opportunity for us to unite with ACS to honor survivors, those still in the fight and to raise awareness about what we do 24-7/365 days a year—Educate and Raise Awareness That Early Detection saves Lives while raising money to help the American Cancer Society continue valuable research and so much more.

To help make more of an impact and benefit the cause we are offering a 35% discount on individual sales of  The Breast Chek Kit during the month of October with $2.00 of every sale going to the  Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

If you’re in the Atlanta area join us and the Striders With Purpose team to Making Strides Toward A World With More Birthdays!

October 12th -Cobb County- 7am Glover Park  & October 26th, 9am – Centennial Olympic Park  

                                        SEE YOU THERE!

The Breast Chek Kit APP NOW AVAILABLE on GOOGLE PLAY!

We are excited to invite you to download our “FREE”  NEW APP now AVAILABLE on Google Play for Android! Coming soon to the APPLE APP STORE!


Get it on Google Play

The Self Breast Exam – It can save your life

I often ask my patients, “Are you routinely feeling your breasts?”  The answers I commonly get are:

My breasts are always lumpy.

I don’t know what I am supposed to be feeling for.

I am too afraid to do it.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many women find their own breast cancers by feeling a lump in their breast.  40% of breast cancers are found through feeling a lump or changes noticed in the breast by patients.  Some women come in when the cancer is quite large, but many have found them when they have been small.  I am often surprised at how good patients are at finding masses in their breasts.  Many of them are young as well.  For example, one 40 year old woman felt a 7 mm cancer in her breast, one that was hard to see on mammography because of her implants. (Stage 1 tumor size is under 2 cm. I consider anything under 1 cm to be really small!)  Also, small cancers can hide on mammograms in your normal breast tissue and many women are able to feel their breast cancers before they will manifest on mammograms.

If you are younger than 40 years old, it is really the only way to detect breast cancer, as screening mammograms are recommended beginning at age 40.  I saw a 36 year old who noticed a tiny bit of dimpling of the skin on her breast and could feel a 6 mm lump.  When I did her mammogram, half her breast was filled with DCIS and in the middle of it, there was a small invasive cancer, which is what she felt.  If she had waited until 40 for her screening mammogram, she would probably have metastatic breast cancer.  Instead, she saved her own life.

So, how to I respond to my patients?

My breasts are always lumpy.  That is normal.  Most women’s breasts are lumpy.  You need to get to know what your normal lumps and bumps are, so that if something changes or a new lump shows up, you will know that it is different.

I don’t know what I am supposed to be feeling for.  You don’t have to know what cancer feels like.  You just have to know when something is different.  I advise my patients to feel their breasts once a month.  If you are still having regular periods, do it 3-5 days after you first get your period.  You breasts tend to swell right before you get your period, so any lumps or bumps or benign things, such as cysts, will tend to be more pronounced at that time.  These tend to go away or lessen after your period.  If you feel something new, don’t freak out.  Come back to it in a few weeks and if you can go right back to the same area and feel it without any difficulty, then you need to have imaging done.  Don’t feel your breasts too often either, or you will not be able to appreciate change.  You know how your parents notice how big your children have grown because they don’t see them every day?  It’s the same thing with feeling your breasts.

I’m too afraid to do it.  Why?  If you get to know your breasts now, there is nothing to be afraid of.   Not all masses are cancer.  The important thing is you might be able to find a cancer when it is smaller.  Do you want to wait until there is cancer sticking out of your breast (which I have seen many women in denial do)?  You could very well save your own life.

Here are the reasons why I recommend doing self breast examination:

1.  It doesn’t cost you anything to do it.

 

2.  It rarely leads to unnecessary procedures.

 

3.  It allows your breasts to be checked at monthly intervals instead of yearly as with mammograms.

4.  It covers the areas that mammograms and ultrasounds might miss.  I had one patient who had a negative mammogram.  She came in a few days after her mammogram complaining of a lump.  I though it might have been related to trauma from the mammogram as her breasts were fatty and really easy to read.  Well, it was a cancer.  Even after I knew where it was, we still had trouble getting that part of the breast onto the mammogram.  She saved her own life.

5.  You will be better at it than your doctor (who feels a lot of women’s breasts but only yours once a year).

In my opinion, there is almost no downside to doing it.  There was one patient who insisted that there was something that felt different in one of her breasts.  She had a mammogram and ultrasound done which were negative.  She was told by several people that there was nothing there and not to worry about it.  She finally convinced a breast surgeon to do a surgical biopsy and guess what?  He found an invasive lobular cancer (which is often difficult to detect with mammogram and ultrasound).  She saved her own life.

You could save your own life too.  In this day and age, none of the tests we have are perfect.  So we should try to use everything we’ve got to help find cancers when they are small and the self breast exam is one of those tools.

 

Posted in Breast Cancer

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