Eight million people in this world have breast cancer. Breast cancer affects men and women alike. It is a horrible disease that can take the life of its victims but it doesn’t have to. The first thing that Montrealers as well as women and men across the world think when they have breast cancer is that they will die. However, with modern technology it is not always so. With preventative measures and early detection, we can all beat breast cancer.
The way to do it is to be aware and stay informed.
Tamara is a 26-year-old Jewish young woman from Montreal, the step daughter to this Montreal Mental Health examiner. She was devastated when her mother died of breast cancer. She was devastated because of her mother’s death and also afraid that she too may die of breast cancer. Research points the genetic link for breast cancer but it is more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population originally from Eastern Europe. A report in the journal Natural Genetics stated:
BRCA2 gene mutation is found in one out of every 100 Ashkenazi Jews, a group that includes more than 90% of the six million Jews living in the United States. The new estimate is based on an analysis of blood samples from more than 1,200 men and women of Ashkenazi descent.
The study shows the BRCA2 mutation is just as common among Ashkenazi as a similar mutation in the BRCA1 gene that also increases the risk of breast cancer in this ethnic group. Despite the similar frequency of the two mutations, the risk of breast cancer is more than three times higher in Ashkenazi women who inherit the BRCA1 mutation compared to those who inherit the BRCA2 mutation, the research indicates.
Breast cancer knows no boundaries and even though Tamara lives in Montreal she is not exempt from being at risk for the disease. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in Canada; and it is the second most fatal. Click here for more information.
Tamara’s mother waited too long to see a doctor. Tamara’s mother did not check regularly for lumps in the breast and she found out she had a lump under her breast merely by accident. However, it was too late for the mother. Her cancer had already spread too far and chemotherapy did not eradicate the tumor and squash the disease.
Tamara is young and healthy. She has the advantage of taking preventative measures such as living a healthy lifestyle and going for breast cancer screening regularly. As time goes on, research will develop new and more efficient treatments for breast cancer. All that is needed is a continual flow of funding for the research so that men and women do not have to live in fear of breast cancer.
Note: The CIBC Run for the Cure 2012 was held on September 30th in Montreal to raise funds for this worthy cause.