Breast cancer awareness month

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- For the past two decades Americans have come together to increase awareness of breast cancer in hopes of educating women and men alike, ultimately saving lives.
This October marks the 22nd annual National Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Incirlik community is dedicated in their efforts to provide information to members on prevention, early detection and life-saving measures to fight cancer diagnosis. 

"Early detection is key to successful treatment," said Maj. Carol Shaffer, 39th Medical Group health care integrator. "Survival rate can be enhanced with early intervention and breast cancer has a very high cure rate of 86 percent." 

This form of cancer is not only found in women and you may be surprised to hear that the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., reported that in 2006 an estimated 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die from it. 

More often we associate breast cancer with women because it is the most common cancer in women, other than skin cancer. It's also the second leading cause of cancer death among women, according to www.breastcancer.org. 

It's important to know how to reduce the risks of being diagnosed. Physical wellbeing won't only make you look better in a swimsuit while hanging out on the Mediterranean but can also be used to fight off diseases. 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., states that women who exercise four hours per week reduce the risk of breast cancer. Exercise pumps up the immune system and cuts the estrogen level. You can start prevention now by getting "fit to fight" during the five kilometer run/walk Oct. 21 at Arkadas Park. The event begins at 7 a.m. and the first 100 participants will receive free t-shirts. 

Major Shaffer encourages monthly self breast exams, visiting your primary care manager for breast/arm pit exams annually, and mammograms every two years for women over 40 as preventive health measures to reduce your risks. 

If any unusual symptoms or changes occur before your scheduled visit to the doctor, it is recommended you make an appointment immediately. 

Pick up a copy of the 39th Medical Group's October edition of Tip of the Needle for more information on who's at risk, different risk factors, how to reduce your risk and symptoms of breast cancer. The publication includes an October calendar featuring Breast Cancer Awareness Month information booths at the Official Document Center Monday and Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to noon. 

An event you won't find on the calendar but shouldn't miss is the brown bag luncheon Oct. 26 from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Medical Group's interior courtyard.
Team Incirlik will be highlighting the color pink during a fashion show followed by a panel discussion where personal accounts on the affects of breast cancer will be discussed. 

All you need is a packed lunch and the drink and dessert will be provided free of charge. RSVP by calling Major Shaffer before Oct. 24 at 676-8732.