Breast Cancer Awareness and Prepping for Flu Season

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In October, Spectrum Health Services recognized National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to encourage communities, partner organizations, and families to spread the word about the importance of mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer.  With breast cancer being the second most common kind of cancer in women and approximately 1 of 8 American women slated to contract it in their life, the urgency abounds.  However, though very rare, men can get breast cancer as well.

Spectrum is glad to share that most victims can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Some of the warning signs include:

  • Swelling, redness, soreness, or general pain on one or both sides of the pectoral muscles
  • Lumps, nodes, or an increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s)
  • Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples such as peeling or flaking or overall change in breast color
  •  Redness or pitting of the breast skin (like the skin of an orange)
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Irritated or itchy breasts

Spectrum encouraged the employees to wear pink to commemorate the day as the staff learned more about the condition that has touched the lives of its family members and is affecting a handful of its patients.

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Influenza aka "the flu" is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and if left unchecked, even death. Every Flu season, typically October thru May, sees different trends and its symptoms affect people around the globe differently because of various strains of flu viruses. The reason people call the various strains "the flu" instead of being more specific to the strain is because each of the viruses function more or less the same around the same time of year.

The Flu viruses typically enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth then causes infections in the upper respiratory system (nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes, lungs). It could eventually lead to more serious issues such as severe flu infection and viral pneumonia or viral  infections in other organs.

A lot of patients who have immunological diseases, or an organ transplant, have cancer or other conditions may not be strong enough to get a flu vaccine, but if those around them who are vaccinated can develop a "herd immunity," so that the few people who may not be able to get the vaccine will not get infected.

 

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The flu shot may not fully prevent a person from getting the flu; the vaccine's purpose is to reduce the number of severe flu illnesses that result in hospital visits. Hence, a vaccinated person will not get as sick as as someone who is not vaccinated. 


Spectrum Health Services encourages the community to be educated about breast cancer as well as get their flu shots, and the Spectrum staff leads by example. Click here to see Spectrum's Breast Cancer Awareness & Flu Shot photos. 

For more information on Influenza and flu vaccinations, click here

For more information on breast cancer awareness, click here