Keeping up with Komen: Group works to promote cancer awareness
Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.
#1 Feb 7, 2011
"awareness" is a pointless, feel-good term for not actually doing anything helpful.
DO NOT give money to any group that promotes "awareness", because all that's just marketing and advertising.
#2 Feb 7, 2011
Women fear breast Cancer more than any other disease.
Women the most frequent disease for you is
Heart Disease. Get checked twice as frequent
for this devastating fatal disease.
Saint Petersburg, FL
#3 Feb 9, 2011
That's a great idea, but there isn't anyway a person can just be "checked" for heart disease.
There are EKG's, and they will catch some rhythm disorders, but not all of them, including some of the most serious, because those rhythm disorders are transient. The symptoms aren't always there. In addition, in the case of heart attacks, an EKG won't provide any clues that it's happened until AFTER the heart has been damaged by a heart attack. And yes, it's possible to have a heart attack and not realize it.
You can have your cholesterol level checked, but reducing your cholesterol is not a guarantee of anything. That test measures cholesterol levels, not heart disease.
No MD will support a statement for an otherwise healthy woman going in twice a year looking for heart disease.
We promote breast cancer awareness because we DO have tests that can find it. They're not perfect but they do save lives. There's a simple, linear approach to looking for breast cancer: self-exam and doctor's exam, accompanied by mammography, followed by a repeat mammography, breast sonogram or breast MRI if something suspicious is found, biopsy if it's still there after more advanced imaging.
We have no such step-by-step search for undetected heart disease. Certainly women need to pay attention to heart disease, but there's still "awareness" work to do regarding breast cancer. More and more research is pointing to the fact that poor women and women of color are more likely to DIE of breast cancer, and one factor emerging is that these groups of women are less likely to do things like annual mammograms.
If "heart disease" is suspected, a number of tests may have to be done, some of them invasive. It may involve wearing a Halter monitor for 24 hours or tests that have to be done in the hospital. You can have more than one thing wrong with your heart at the same time.
We have to pay attention to ALL areas of our health. We need to be examining our skin for changes in moles. But any woman who is asymptomatic and who wants her doctor to look for "heart disease" twice a year is going to look neurotic. There is no one "heart disease." There are many different kinds, and many different tests.
Pay attention to all of your health, but remember the women who are likely, in 2011, to not have their breast cancer found until it has had a chance to advance. Those women really do need more awareness regarding what their preventative and diagnostic options are.
It is a completely reasonable thing to donate time or money to.
#4 Sep 23, 2013
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