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Breast Cancer: In the News – November 2013

Published on | Kylie Chin

Breast Cancer Survivors Offered Free Nipple Tattoos

Breast cancer survivors in Halifax, Nova Scotia who have undergone mastectomies are being treated to a complimentary nipple and areola tattoo. Newcombes Ink, a local tattoo parlor known for its community involvement, says the effort is to “help someone feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Under normal circumstances, mastectomy patients in Nova Scotia are financially responsible for the tattoos, an expense that can cost hundreds of dollars, according to Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia. Surgeries to remove the breast, however, are not billed to the patient.

For many cancer survivors, a nipple tattoo is the missing piece after reconstructive surgery.

“It just finished everything off. It was just incredible, really. I felt whole for the first time and that was so important in my healing process,” says breast cancer survivor Barbara Thompson, the executive director of Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia.

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Amy Robach’s Breast Cancer Diagnosis Proves On-Air Medical Tests are No Laughing Matter

Amy Robach breast cancer diagnosisABC News reporter Amy Robach recently participated in a live television mammogram on “Good Morning America” in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness, but the results revealed something unexpected. In what was intended to encourage viewers to consult a doctor about breast cancer screening, test results revealed that the 40 year-old wife and mother of two has cancer.

“I know me, and I wasn’t in any rush to have that done anytime soon. Little did I know that I would be a walking example of ‘having a mammogram saved my life.’”

Despite the revealing nature of medical testing, prominent figures have been undergoing procedures on live television since the turn of the century.

In 2000 after losing her husband to cancer, journalist Katie Couric received a live colonoscopy to promote the significance of regular cancer screenings, which received a heart-felt response from viewers. According to the article, colonoscopy screenings increased after the show aired on television.

Robach is expected to undergo a double mastectomy on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

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How Walking May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

In light of two recent cancer research studies, doctors are encouraging women to exercise daily in an effort to lower the risk of developing breast cancer.

In the first study, more than 73,600 women between the ages of 50 to 73 participated, which included questionnaires every two years for details about their lifestyle and, if applicable, any exercise routine. Roughly 4,760 women were diagnosed with breast cancer throughout the course of the study.

According to the article, “women who walked at least seven hours per week, usually distributed as an hour a day, had 14 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked for fewer than three hours per week, a significant reduction in risk.”

Of the participants, those women who maintained an active and sweat-intensive workout routine in excess of 10 hours each week received an even greater reduced chance of developing breast cancer. These women are 25% less likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

Results proved to be similar in another study examining the presence of estrogen metabolites in urine, which are believed to increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. After separating the participants, some women were instructed to remain sedentary while the other group were actively involved in a moderate exercise routine.

Research findings indicate that the inactive group showed no changes of estrogen metabolite levels while the active group showed changes, which are believed to indicate a reduced chance of developing cancer.

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