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Newspaper Archive of
The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
June 13, 1985     The Ponchatoula Times
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June 13, 1985
 
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A health service from Westpark Community Hospital reasSurl" ng to oreast care High risk groups All women can get breast cancer, but some are more likely to encounter it than others. Women who are more susceptible are those having one or more of these risk factors: • Over age 50 • Never had children • Had first child after age 30 • Over age 40 and have a mother, aunt or grandmother with breast cancer-- especially if the relative developed the canc.er after menopause • Over age 50 with a history of breast cancer • His- tory of fibrosis • Early menstruation • Late menopause m  of career of the ovary, colon or lining of the uterus • Obesity • Exposm to excessive radiation. Don't be alarmed if you're inone or more of the risk groum. It do'n't mean you'll get cancer.  t would be good to disams it with your doctor. There's a peace of mind that comes with knowing you 're in good health. But good health doesn't st happen--it takes monthly breast selfiexamit2io, regular chexkuN, good eating habits and exer.,ise. Strong as a woman can be, in some ways her body is very delicate. That's why it's so important for you to take special care of your body. An annual visit to the doctor is not enough. Taking proper care of yourself means regular checkups combined with monthly breast self-examinations and a healthy lifestyle. Fear of the unknown The health problem that probably frightens women the most is breast cancer. Because of this, many women don't do breast self-examinations. They feel that if they don't look for something, they won't find it. They're wrong, though. If they have cancer, they'll find it eventually. And the sooner it's discovered, the easier it is to treat. What m look for If you discover any of the following symptoms, consult your doctor right away: 1. Lump 2. Thickermg 3. Swelling 4. D00ap00ng 5. Skin irritations . Nipple discharge • Change in breast shape 8. Retraction or scaliness of nipple 9. Pain or tenderness If you' re worried about treatment, take lean. Today's treatments are more effective and less threatening than ever. In fact, of the 9 percent of women in America who get breast cancer, 85 percent can be treated $UCฃSSfully. Wth odds like these, don't you think it's time to start your own breast care program? How to do a breast self-examination Breast self-examinations are easy-- and they could save your life. The prime time for the examination is about a week after your period. Check yourself on the first day of each month if you've had menopause. If you have had a hysterectomy, ask your doctor when the best time is. Here's what to do I. . . Standing in front of a mirror, check your breasts for discharge from the nipple and puckering, dimpling or scaling of the skin. Clasp your hands behind your head and press them forward. Look for changes in the shape or contour of your breasts. Still standing in front of the mirror, press your hands firmly on your hips, bow slightly and pull your shoulders and elbows forward. . Again, look closely for changes in your breast shape and contour. 4. You may want to do this next step in the shower since soapy, wet hands make it easier to detect irregularities under the skin. Raise your left arm and press the flat part of three or four fingers of your right hand on the outer edge of your left breast. While making small circles with your fingers, feel for an unusual lump or mass. Move your hand slowly around your breast, working gradually toward the nipple. Be careful to include the area between your breast and armpit, as well as the armpit itself. Now check your right breast in the same manner. Next, with your left arm raised, geh squeeze your re and  for discharge. Then raise your right arm and repeat the examination onthe right breast. 6. You can do steps four and five lying down. Just place a pillow or folded towel under the shoulder of the breast you're examinm" g. Go to your doctor immediately if you find a lump. But don't panic: • 8 out of 10 lumps are not catrr. • Some lumps are normal, but let your doctor decide what is normal for you. • Lumps discovered right before and during your pevd can be caused by changing hormones, and might go away in a few days. What about your diet? It seems as if every other day yon hear about another food you should omit from your diet. In fact, these days it's hard to know what to eat and what not to eat. The following chart should help ease the confusion. Foods that might increase the risk of some types of cancer • Fats--saturated and unsaturated, from plants or animals • Meats high in fat--such as steak and pork • Some artificial sweeteners • Meat and fish cooked at high temperatures--such as fried or broiled • Salt-cured, smoked and nitrate-cured foods • Alcohol. Wouldn't it he great if scientists could discover some foods that may lessen your chances of getting caer? Believe it or not, they have! Foods that might reduce the risk of some types of cancer • High fiber foods--such as whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables • Cruciferous vegetables--vegetables with four leaves that form a cross, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower • VPtamin A-- found in deep yellow and dark green vegetables • Vitamin C--found in fruits and vegetables. Start your own breast care program today • :7%;+. • /,. . ,. -- 5 - Now's the best time to begin a complete breast care program. Here's how to do it: 1. Perform monthly breast eif-exminations. Regular breast self-examinations make it possible to keep a close check on any irregularities. And the sooner a lump is dis- covered, the better. 2. Exercise. The National Academy of Sciences suggests that regular exercise may help prevent cancer. Ask your doctor to recommend exercises that are best for you. 3. Limit your intake of fatty fooda. Studies have indicated a link between fatty foods and cancer. But don't panic-- this doesn't mean no more french fries and ice cream. It just means you shouldn't indulge yourself too often. 4. Keep your weight down. There is evidence that obesity may increase the risk of cancer. So now you have another good reason to watch your weight. 5. Have annual breast checkulm.You should make it a point to visit your doctor at least once a year. For more information call your doctor An important point to remember is that you' re not alone. Each day, technology brings us doser to new ways to detect and treat breast cancer. And Westmrk is doing something to help, too. We've added a new mammography 'east, w.l'h offers a good way to locate t m'egularities. Your doctor can help you determine if it could be right for you. If you have any questions concern- ing your breast care program, consult your doctor. He or she can be a 00help. Should you have a mammogram? are not recomnnded for all women. But if you're in a high risk group, you might want to con- sider ore. Having a mananogram now, when there is no evidence of a problem, can give your doctor a "normal" test result. This way, be or she will have a reference to commre with later test results if a lump is ever discovered. I)iscuss mammography and other tests with your doctor. Then, if the two of you decide to have a gram, call our Radiology Department at 542-7777, ext. 363. Our new nmav mography unit can he00. wtsrr !  ltOSi'ITAL i Wr's.rt arm incitus Hammo al sumnmdiag commmiK. 1-12 For a relaim  this ad. contact Vialauk Conmmity  Westpark . t.00mmumty Hospital 1900 Highway 51 Bypass, Hannno, Louisiana 70401 A health care nter ofฎ