What can Asian and Pacific Islander women do to protect themselves from breast cancer?

What can Asian and Pacific Islander women do to protect themselves from breast cancer?

To improve their chances of surviving breast cancer, Asian and Pacific Islander women can take an active part in the early detection of breast cancer by having regular mammograms and clinical breast exams (breast exams performed by health professionals).  Studies show that mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women in their forties and older have mammograms on a regular basis, every 1 to 2 years. Some women also perform breast self-exams every month.

Women should also talk with their doctor about factors that can increase the risk for breast cancer (a family history, for example). Women of any age who are at higher risk for this disease should ask their doctor when to begin and how often to have screening mammograms and breast exams.

The failure of Asian women to get regular screenings relates not only to a lack of knowledge of risk factors, but also to the belief that cancer is inevitably fatal. The failure to get mammograms is of particular concern because of the gradual increase in breast cancer rates among Asian women (especially Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino) over the generations after their migration to the United States, when compared to these same groups of women in Asia. Overall, Asian American women born in the United States have a breast cancer risk 60 percent higher than Asian American women born in Asia. So early detection is the key, and having annual mammograms by age 30, doing monthly breast self-exams and taking advantage of the technology of breast thermography is imperative.  Lack of knowledge, combined with an ethnocultural emphasis on modesty and humility, makes preventive care difficult. Despite the importance of preventative screenings, many Asian-American women, especially recent immigrants, are reluctant to have a Pap smear or breast exam.

Please commit to being proactive in your breast health.  Get annual mammograms, do monthly breast self exams, and take advantage of the technology of breast thermography, and do your part in adopting a healthier, greener diet and get daily exercise. At BreastHealthOnline we can help you work on these things.

Source:  http://www.4woman.gov (no longer available)
Source:  http://www.apanet.org/~fdala/

  • Thursday, 14 June 2012