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#ygkChallenge: Be Breast Cancer Informed

Be Breast Cancer InformedWelcome to Kingstonist’s weekly challenge, dare, resolution or whatever you prefer to call it. Each week we establish a new and ambitious community goal, encouraging our readers, followers, friends and families to step out of their comfort zones and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. Consider this your official and personal invitation to join us in completing a small but meaningful achievement. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston a slightly better place to live, work and play. And of course, we also hope that you will feel proud of your contribution and achievement.

This week’s challenge encourages you to:

Be Breast Cancer Informed. This year it is estimated that 23,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer as it continues to be the second leading cancer diagnosis in women over the age of twenty. In addition, 1 in 29 Canadian women will die from the disease. Research presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting found that men who are diagnosed with breast cancer, are often less likely to survive as they are diagnosed at a more advanced stage as well as are not always offered the same treatment options (Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, 2013). In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I challenge you to become better informed. With better education and understanding, the higher the chances are for early detection. Here are a few facts that you may or may not know about.

  • Breast cancer does not always appear as a lump. Other signs to look out for are dimpling or puckering of the skin, swelling, redness, warmth, and/or darkening of the breasts, a change in breast size, nipple discharge and/or a pulled in appearance, thickening of the skin, unrelenting pain in one area of the breast, and an itchy, dry, rash on or around the nipple.
  • The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations do not always mean that you will develop cancer. It is your risk that is significantly increased.
  • There are ways to lower your breast cancer risk including: getting regular exercise (even as little as 75 minutes per week has an effect), eating less sugar, and making sure that your vitamin D levels are adequate. *Talk to your healthcare provider before supplementation.

The challenge is on: increase the power to fight breast cancer through education and understanding!

Sign up and commit to completing this week’s challenge by commenting below with an “I’m in“, “challenge accepted“, “en garde” or something along those lines. Further, help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag: #ygkchallenge. As you work towards completing this week’s task, please feel free to lend others a helping hand by providing tips on how you achieved success.

Thanks to Worldwide Breast Cancer for today’s photo.

Ted Hsu for MPP
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Alanna Kuhn

Alanna Kuhn has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. She is a Naturopathic Doctor and co-owner of Kingston Natural Route Health. She regularly contributed to Kingstonist's weekly #ygkchallenge, encouraging Kingstonians to explore healthier lifestyle options.

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