Six Things We’ve Learned This Past Breast Cancer Awareness Month

West Wing Clinic Six Things We've Learned This Past Breath Cancer Awareness Mont (2)

October was a month of education and celebrating strength as we supported Breast Cancer Awareness. In case you missed it amidst our bustling lives, here’s a quick recap of the top six insights we shared on @WestWingClinic’s social media channels this past month.

1. Our community has wonderful free resources and events 

Six Things We've Learned This Past Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Looking back on the October calendar of events has us feeling thankful for the wonderful community we are part of. Although Homer calms down after the tourist season, we love having these events on our calendars to bring us together. This past October, we held free Childbirth classes while South Peninsula Hospital sponsored Wellness Wednesday and Mammograms & Mocktails. 

If these events would benefit you, follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated.

2. There are many different types of breast cancer

There are many diverse subtypes of breast cancer, including invasive ductal and lobular carcinomas, inflammatory breast cancer, and triple-negative, among others. Each subtype requires tailored treatment strategies, making awareness of these variations crucial.

Metastatic breast cancer, though often overlooked in discussions, signifies a critical aspect of the disease. Also called ‘Stage IV,’ this is where cancer spreads to other organs and bones, leading to a more severe prognosis. Recognizing the prevalence of metastatic breast cancer, supporting ongoing research, and emphasizing early detection are critical in helping us be successful against this aggressive strain.

3. The history of the pink ribbon

The pink ribbon was first used in the early 1990s by organizations like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research and prevention. Today, it has become the universal symbol of breast cancer awareness, representing hope and community for many impacted by the disease.

Pink was chosen for the ribbon because it is often associated with femininity, nurturing, and compassion. It is also a color that is often seen as calming and hopeful.

Don’t forget: In addition to the pastel pink most people have come to recognize, breast cancer ribbons come in a variety of hues: hot pink for inflammatory breast cancer, teal and pink for both hereditary and gynecologic cancers, pink and blue for male breast cancer, and teal, pink, and green for metastatic breast cancer.

4. Which autumn foods to eat this season

Six Things We've Learned This Past Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are the best choice for nourishing our bodies. When a particular product is in season, it typically has its highest nutrient count and can help us naturally adjust to the seasons. 

For autumn, eating seasonally means loading up on cranberries, apples, grapes, and figs, along with beets, peas, mushrooms, and pumpkin.

For more information on seasonal eating and/or to download the ‘Healthy Recipes for Cancer Patients’ eBook from the National Breast Cancer Foundation,

5. Men can get breast cancer too

Just this year, an estimated 2,710 American men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 530 are expected to die from the disease. Unfortunately, due to the lack of awareness and stigma surrounding male breast cancer, many men experience late detection and delayed care.

Any abnormality, whether a lump, inverted nipple, or just some new soreness, is worth being checked out. Unsure they will be receptive to the information? Calling it by a different name may help. In fact, some men, trans men, and non-binary people choose to call their cancer chest cancer.

6. How to do a breast self-exam

Six Things We've Learned This Past Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Time can fly surprisingly fast. For the best prevention practices, make sure you’re regularly doing self-exams and that you’re doing them correctly. Here’s the step-by-step refresher course.

For the full version, check out our original post and save it to keep handy!

  • Step 1: Examine Your Breasts in a Mirror With Hands-on Hips.
  • Step 2: Raise Arms and Examine Your Breasts. Now look for the same changes.
  • Step 3: Look for Signs of Breast Fluid.
  • Step 4: Feel for Breast Lumps While Lying Down.
  • Step 5: Feel Your Breasts for Lumps While Standing or Sitting.

That’s a quick look at some of the education we gained this past October on the West Wing Clinic’s social media channels. If you aren’t already following us, do so today and be part of our online community. 

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