Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among American women, claiming the lives of more than 40,000 annually. Approximately one out of eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and more than 220,000 cases will be diagnosed this year alone.*

The good news is that together, we can help save more lives.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Walden’s College of Health Sciences is partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to raise breast cancer awareness through education and communication. There will be opportunities to share your story, hear others’ experiences, and learn more about breast cancer risk factors, symptoms, and prevention.

Since Walden’s founding in 1970, effecting positive social change has been at the core of our mission. Whether you have been personally touched by breast cancer or simply would like to help spread the word, we hope you join us in our fight against this devastating disease. Please check our events schedule for the various ways you can get involved.

*National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Breast Cancer Facts,” on the Internet at www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts (viewed online September 20, 2012).

  • Fast Fact

    Many women avoid asking their doctors about breast lumps because they fear what they might discover. However, only a small percentage of lumps are cancerous.

    National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Myths,” on the Internet at www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths (viewed online September 20, 2012).

  • Fast Fact

    Although breast cancer occurs primarily in women, approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed with the disease each year, and 410 will die.

    National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Myths,” on the Internet at www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-myths (viewed online September 20, 2012).

  • Breast Cancer Facts

  • NBCF Partnership

  • Facuty Research

  • Activities

What Is Breast Cancer?

The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed within breast tissue as a result of the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. For U.S. women, this type of cancer surpasses any other in terms of prevalence, with the exception of skin cancer.

Since there is no known cure for breast cancer at this time, early diagnosis is the key to survival. In fact, when breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98%.*

See answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about breast cancer.
Hear breast cancer stories from real people.
Get and give emotional support by joining a breast cancer support community.
Find out the truth behind some common breast cancer myths.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

Determining what causes breast cancer is a challenge. Although scientists know that cancer results from DNA damage to cells, it is not quite clear why or how that DNA becomes compromised. Some DNA mutations are handed down from generation to generation, while others are acquired through environmental or lifestyle factors. In truth, most people will never know the definitive cause behind their breast cancer diagnosis.

What Are the Types of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is categorized into various types, including:

  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
  • Triple negative breast cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Metastatic breast cancer

Once breast cancer is diagnosed, additional tests can help determine if and how far the cancer has spread in a process called staging. The five stages of breast cancer range from Stage 0 to Stage IV and play a large role in determining the appropriate path of treatment.

Learn more about the types of breast cancer.
Learn more about the stages of breast cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

One of the initial symptoms of breast cancer is changes in the breast. These may include:

  • Any change in the appearance of the breast or nipple.
  • The presence of lumps, tenderness, or skin thickening.
  • Nipple discharge (especially clear or bloody).
  • Redness, swelling, or irritation.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

The following tests can be used to detect or confirm abnormalities in the breast that may be of concern:

  • Breast self-examination
  • Clinical breast exam
  • Mammogram
  • Biopsy
  • Ultrasound and MRI
  • Lab tests

The key to diagnosing breast cancer early is regular breast health screenings. The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers an online tool called the Early Detection Plan®, where users can sign up to receive screening reminder alerts via email or text message, or through an RSS feed.

Learn more about breast cancer diagnostic methods.
Learn how to perform a breast self-exam.

How Is Breast Cancer Treated?

Treatment options for breast cancer depend on a variety of factors, including the type and stage of the disease, your age and health, and whether or not this is your first treatment for cancer. Generally speaking, there are five primary approaches to treating breast cancer:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy

A treatment plan may consist of one of the above treatment protocols or a combination of approaches.

Learn more about the latest breast cancer treatments.

What Are the Breast Cancer Risk Factors?

The medical profession has noted certain genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors as being associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer. These include:

  • Age, gender, and race.
  • Family or personal history of breast cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise.
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • Early menstruation and/or late menopause.

Learn more about breast cancer risk factors.
Understand your personal breast cancer risk by using the National Cancer Institute risk assessment tool.

Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented?

While there are no guaranteed ways to prevent breast cancer, there are some basic lifestyle guidelines you can follow to potentially limit your risk. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Limiting intake of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
  • Eating a healthy, plant-based diet.

In addition, you can boost your chances of detecting breast cancer early with regular breast health screenings. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends annual mammograms for women age 40 and older and regular clinical breast exams for all women.

Learn how you can support the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Source (unless otherwise noted): National Breast Cancer Foundation, on the Internet at www.nationalbreastcancer.org/ (viewed online September 20, 2012).

*National Cancer Institute, Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results, “SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Breast,” on the Internet at www.seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html (viewed online September 20, 2012).

Media Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Chumley
1-443-627-7495
tamara.chumley@waldenu.edu

Jerry Sweitzer
1-410-843-6576
jerry.sweitzer@waldenu.edu

Jen Raider
1-443-627-7452
jen.raider@waldenu.edu

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) was founded in 1991 by Janelle Hail, a longtime breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed with the disease in 1980 after discovering a lump in her breast, she underwent a mastectomy that ultimately saved her life.

While in the hospital coping with her cancer diagnosis, Janelle was disheartened by the lack of breast cancer information available to women. With no Internet or other resources, she was forced to make difficult decisions about her health using only the advice provided by doctors. This ignited in her a determination to spare other women the same struggles by spreading the word about breast cancer risks, treatment, and prevention.

Driven by Janelle’s message of hope—survival through early detection—NBCF is today one of the most renowned and respected breast cancer charities in the world. Its mission is to aid women around the globe through breast cancer education, support, and early detection services such as free mammograms for those in need. NBCF also partners with organizations like Walden University to deliver vital breast cancer knowledge to the masses.

NBCF Resources

 

Early Detection Plan®: Available via the Web and mobile app, this useful tool enables you to receive reminders to perform breast self-exams and schedule regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Beyond the Shock®: Through Web and mobile platforms containing a series of seven video chapters, you can learn what breast cancer is, how it grows, and how it is diagnosed and treated. Beyond the Shock also features a supportive online community of women who are coping with their own personal breast cancer experiences.

Make a donation to NBCF.

Media Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Chumley
1-443-627-7495
tamara.chumley@waldenu.edu

Jerry Sweitzer
1-410-843-6576
jerry.sweitzer@waldenu.edu

Jen Raider
1-443-627-7452
jen.raider@waldenu.edu

Walden’s College of Health Sciences faculty consists of scholar-practitioners who apply their knowledge and skills toward solving societal challenges. To this end, many have focused their scholarly research on breast cancer. Their topics of study range from breast cancer in college-age women to the disease’s impact on the African-American community.

Jody EarlyDr. Jody Early

Publication:

  • Early, J., Armstrong, S., Burke, S., & Thompson, D. (2011, August). US female college students’ breast health knowledge, attitudes, and screening practices: Implications for health education. The Journal of American College Health, 59(7), p. 640-647.

Presentations:

  • Armstrong, S., Burke, S., Early, J., & Thompson, D. (2011, March 30). New implications for female college students’ breast health education:  Determinants of knowledge, attitudes and screening.  Presented at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention, San Diego, CA.
  • Armstrong, S., Burke, S., Early, J., & Thompson, D. (2010, March 26). Determinants of Southern U.S. female college students’ breast health knowledge, attitudes and screening practices: Implications for health education. Poster presentation at the Women’s Health Congress conference, sponsored by the American Medical Woman’s Association, Washington, D.C.

Grant work and community programs:

  • Community-Based Grant and Program: (Co-P.I. and Director) The Pioneer Breast Health and Community Outreach Program of Denton County (3 years). A community STEP grant provided by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in partnership with Texas Woman’s University and Methodist Health Systems. (April 1, 2007– March 2010).
    • The program provided  community breast health education (in English and Spanish),  mobile mammography, diagnostic services, and referrals for breast cancer treatment and support services to underinsured and uninsured women in Denton County, TX. 

Community Advocacy & Volunteer Work:

  • Established the Denton County Breast Cancer Coalition in 2009. Assisted the North Texas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure with preparing their community profile (e.g. needs assessment) in 2006 and 2008.

Research in Progress:

  • Developing a survey instrument (with colleagues) to assess breast health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors relating to screening (e.g. clinical breast exam, breast self exam, and mammography) and risk reduction.

Dr. Amy Thompson

Publications:

  • Payton, E., Jordan, T. & Thompson, A. (2012). “Circle of Friends: A Community Empowerment Approach to Reducing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities”. The Monograph of Eta Sigma Gamma 29 (2): 51-56.
  • Weiner, J., Jordan, T., Thompson, A. & Fink, B. (2010). “Analysis of the Relationship Between Diet and Exercise Beliefs and Actual Behaviors Among Breast Cancer Survivors in Northwest Ohio”. Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research 2010:(4) 5-13.
  • Fink, B., Weiner, J. Jordan, T., A., Thompson, Balls, J., Coman, M. & Salvage, T. (2010). “Early Stage Cancer Stage at Diagnosis and Its Association with Diet, and Exercise Related Perceptions and Behaviors to Prevent Recurrence”. Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research 4:65-72.
  • Welch, P., Braun, R., Dowling, J., Jordan, T. & Thompson, A. (2009). “Breast Cancer Survivorship: A Survey of ‘Race for the Cure’ Participants”. The Monograph of Eta Sigma Gamma 26:(2) 28-33.

Dr. Shelley Armstrong

Publication:

  • Early, J., Armstrong, S., Burke, S., & Thompson, D. (2011, August). Female college students’ breast health knowledge, attitudes, and screening practices: Implications for health education. The Journal of American College Health, 59(7), p. 640-647.

Presentations:

  • Armstrong, S., Burke, S., Early, J., & Thompson, D. (2011, March 30). New implications for female college students’ breast health education:  Determinants of knowledge, attitudes and screening.  Presented at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention, San Diego, CA.
  • Armstrong, S., Burke, S., Early, J., & Thompson, D. (2010, March 26). Determinants of Southern U.S. female college students’ breast health knowledge, attitudes and screening practices: Implications for health education. Poster presentation at the Women’s Health Congress conference, sponsored by the American Medical Woman’s Association, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ming Ji

Publication:

  • Klein, J. , Ji, M. , Rea, N. , & Stoodt, G. (2011). Differences in male breast cancer stage, tumor size at diagnosis, and survival rate between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan regions. American Journal of Men's Health, 5(5), 430-437.

Dr. Eve Clute

Publications:

  • Clute, E. (1995). Tamoxifen - Cancer Preventive or Human Carcinogen. Univ. of Princeton Press, 84(1), p. 5-8.
  • Allen, R., Gottlieb, M., Clute, E., Pongsiri, J., Sherman J., & Obrams, G. (1997). Breast cancer and pesticides in Hawaii: The need for further study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 105, p. 679-683.

Presentations:

  • Clute, E. (2011, Nov.). Factors Influencing Mammogram for screening, Platform presentation at the Institute of Health, Maui, Hawaii.
  • Clute, E. (1995, May). Tamoxifen - Cancer Preventive or Human Carcinogen. Univ. of Princeton Press, Platform presentation at the World Breast Cancer Confer. Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Phyllis Morgan

Publications:

  • Morgan, P.D., Fogel, J., Rose, L., Barnett, K., Mock, V., Davis, B., Brown-Davis, C., & Gaskin, M. (2005). African American couples merging strengths to successfully cope with breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 32(5), 979-986.
  • Morgan, P.D., Barnett, K.B., Perdue, B., Fogel, J., Underwood, S.M., Gaskins, G., & Brown-Davis, C. (2006). African American women with breast cancer and their spouses' perception of care received from physicians. The ABNF Journal, 17(1), 32-37.

Media Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Chumley
1-443-627-7495
tamara.chumley@waldenu.edu

Jerry Sweitzer
1-410-843-6576
jerry.sweitzer@waldenu.edu

Jen Raider
1-443-627-7452
jen.raider@waldenu.edu

Throughout October, Walden will host a series of activities in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please join us to show your support, and remember to check this page frequently for updates.

Social Media Activities (Ongoing)

Facebook

  • Choose from a variety of breast cancer awareness cover photos that you can download and use on your Facebook page.
  • Find breast cancer tips and facts for every day of the month.

Pink Challenge Week

  • Wear pink clothing or a pink ribbon and share your photo with the Walden community.
  • Log on and send an inspirational ecard to a breast cancer patient or survivor.
  • Make an appointment for a breast health checkup—and remind a friend or family member to do the same.
  • Share your favorite breast cancer awareness photo.

Pinterest

Create a pin board around breast cancer (e.g. ways to make an impact, pink items, what cancer means to you, a world without cancer).

Media Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Chumley
1-443-627-7495
tamara.chumley@waldenu.edu

Jerry Sweitzer
1-410-843-6576
jerry.sweitzer@waldenu.edu

Jen Raider
1-443-627-7452
jen.raider@waldenu.edu