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2015-10-22 / Voices

A Note From The Editor’s Desk

Oglala Lakota Times Editor

The month of October is full of many wonderful activities that include everything from trips to the pumpkin patch to intense Major League Baseball playoff games and of course Halloween. However, October has also been deemed Breast Cancer Awareness month and it is an opportune time for all of us to get out and spread the word about the disease and the importance of encouraging our loved ones to get screened.

Roughly 1 in 8 women will develop some form of invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. To me that number is staggering. Currently there are 2.8 million women in the United States who have had a history of Breast Cancer What is equally important however is that most women who get annual screenings and catch the disease in its early stages will beat the disease.

In order to help share information on this disease that affects so many of our female relatives it is important that we all share information on the disease.

When I first began doing my research for this article I was under the impression that, like many other diseases that affect our community, breast cancer was hereditary. To my surprise that is far from the truth. Only about 5%-10% of breast cancers are inherited. As a result many experts believe that women can make certain lifestyle changes to lower their own risk of developing breast cancer.

The risk of developing breast cancer is increased by many things including age, sex, and genetics that cannot be controlled but other habits we all have in our lives can be altered for the sake of health. Most experts agree that by avoiding cigarettes, exercising, eating healthy, and limiting alcohol intake can reduce the likelihood that an individual develops breast cancer.

Early detection of the disease in women has been found to dramatically increase the survival rate of those who have caught the disease in its early stages. If at all possible please go and get screened and encourage a friend to come along and do it with you.

*Brandon Ecoffey is the editor of LCT.

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