Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Strides Campaigns in Second Life. Together, we raised over $13,600 USD (a $5,000 increase over 2018) for the American Cancer Society, making this our biggest impact on breast cancer from Second Life. Read the full story at https://www.slacsinfo.com/news
The first step in fighting back against breast cancer is knowing your body and making sure to stay up to date on screenings.
One of the strongest tools in your arsenal is doing your regular breast exams and having mammograms done on the schedule that fits your risk and need.
The third Friday of the month of October is National Mammogram Day – have you scheduled yours for this year yet?
To learn more about mammograms, recommended ages to start and more, please visit the mammogram information pages found here.
Today’s Spotlight Survivor is Kaijah Chrome, co-owner of ENT SL Radio.
The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. We’re the only cancer organization offering services and support for every aspect of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Each Monday in October we will highlight ways that we are living the mission and how people who support Making Strides and the American Cancer Society are impacting both their local community and communities around the world – including the virtual world – and helping to lead the fight against breast cancer.
One of the biggest ways we fight back and save lives is by finding the causes of breast cancer and ways to cure it.
As of March 2019, $64.3 million dollars (US) has been invested in breast cancer research. And as of March 2019, 160 research grants related to breast cancer have been funded. *Note: As of August 1, 2019 there are a total of 162 breast cancer grants in effect and $67 million dollars has been allocated to funding breast cancer research.
Science takes time, but as we learn from what we know from the past – that knowledge paves the path for breakthroughs ahead.
Take, for example, one of the most important discoveries in advancing the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Identifying the BRCA1 gene in 1990 paved the way for understanding the link between mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More than three decades later, we’re building on that science to uncover how mutations in these genes impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.
BRCA1 gene Timeline:
- 1950-19910: ongoing research established there were genetic links between breast and ovarian cancers.
- 1990: Researcher Mary-Claire King, PhD, discovered the first specific gene that if mutated could increase the risk of breast cancer. She named the gene BRCA1.
- 1991: Scientist Patrice Watson, PhD, and colleagues found that the BRCA1 gene was also linked to ovarian cancer. *
- 1994: Researchers discovered that the BRCA1 genetic mutation was strongly linked to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.
- 1994: Scientists discovered a second gene linked to breast cancer – BRCA2.
- 1996: Moving BRCA-1 Forward – Mary-Claire King, PhD (above); Elaine Ostrander, PhD; and colleagues did the research needed to be able to study BRCA1 in animals. This work paved the way for future clinical trials in humans.*
- 1998: Oncologist and researcher Bernard Fisher, MD, and colleagues found that the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen decreased the incidence of breast cancer by nearly 50% in women who were at increased risk due to carrying a BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation. *
- 2004: Scientist Susan Neuhausen, PhD, demonstrated that prophylactic bilateral mastectomy substantially reduced the incidence of breast cancer among women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene. *
- 2009: Oncologists Roger A. Greenberg, MD, PhD, and Susan Domchek, MD, found a way to determine (in mice) whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations will cause cancer.
- Future: The American Cancer Society continues to fund ongoing research into breast cancer risk. This is a major focus for our epidemiology team; they are studying the effect of exercise, weight, and diet on breast cancer risk. We are also funding researchers who are working on understanding the underlying biological mechanisms that cause breast cancer to develop and to spread. And we remain committed to improving treatment and funding research into how mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.
*Denotes research funded by the American Cancer Society.
Learn more about the innovative approach to research by the American Cancer Society by visiting here.
Learn more about current breast cancer research grantees by visiting here.
The main claims include:
- Cancer-causing substances in antiperspirants are absorbed through razor nicks from underarm shaving.
- Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant of the breast because that area is closest to the lymph nodes exposed to antiperspirants.
- Men have a lower risk of breast cancer because they do not shave their underarms, and their underarm hair keeps chemicals in antiperspirants from being absorbed.
Based on studies, these claims are largely untrue.
Some often asked questions about the link between breast cancer risk and the use of antiperspirants include:
Do antiperspirants increase a person’s risk of breast cancer?
There are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim.
Does using antiperspirant after shaving allow chemicals to enter the body from the armpit and increase breast cancer risk?
Razor nicks may increase the risk of skin infection. If the underarm skin is already broken or infected, it is possible that some antiperspirants could cause slight irritation. But it is unlikely that this is a major source of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that get into the body and reach the breast cells.
Should I be concerned about parabens?
Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives and as food additives. They can be found in many types of make-up (like lipstick, mascara, concealer, and foundation) and skin care products (like lotion, shaving products, and sunscreen). Parabens can be absorbed through the skin.
Intake of parabens is a possible concern because studies have shown that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties. Estrogen is a female hormone known to cause breast cells (both normal and cancerous) to grow and divide. And some conditions that increase the body’s exposure to estrogen (like not having children, late menopause, obesity, etc.) have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Although at this time there are no clear health risks from parabens in food, drugs, cosmetics, and skin care products, people concerned about exposure to parabens can avoid products containing them. (Source page dated Oct 14, 2014.)
Should I be concerned about aluminum in antiperspirants?
Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface.
But it isn’t clear that much aluminum is absorbed through the skin.
At this point, no clear link has been made between antiperspirants containing aluminum and breast cancer. (Source page dated Oct 14, 2014)
Are men less likely to get breast cancer because antiperspirant gets caught in their underarm hair and is not absorbed by their skin?
Men are much less likely than women to develop breast cancer, mostly because men have much less breast tissue than women. Women have about 100 times more breast tissue than men and are about 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer.
Why does my doctor tell me not to use antiperspirant or deodorant on the day of my mammogram?
You are asked to not use antiperspirant or deodorant on the day you get a mammogram because many of these products contain aluminum. This metal can show up on a mammogram as tiny specks. These specks can look like microcalcifications, which are one of the things doctors look for as a possible sign of cancer. Not using these products helps prevent any confusion when the mammogram films are reviewed.
How can I learn more about breast cancer risk factors and ways to find breast cancer early, when treatment works best?
Women concerned about breast cancer can learn about risk factors for breast cancer and possible strategies to reduce breast cancer risk in Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention.
You can also talk to your doctor, nurse, or other health care providers. The American Cancer Society has information about all aspects of breast cancer, from causes and prevention, to diagnosis and treatment. Contact us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our website, http://www.cancer.org.
To learn more about each question listed above as well as the research that has been conducted, please visit the following pages: Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer Risk and Antiperspirants/ Deodorants and Breast Cancer.
Chevrolet and Chevy Dealers are once again partnering with Making Strides to Finish The Fight!
In the last 9 years Chevy has contributed $12 million to the American Cancer Society® benefiting breast cancer screening, patient care and research.
Each time #IDriveFor is used on Twitter or Instagram in the month of October, Chevrolet will contribute $5 to the American Cancer Society until they reach their $340,000 goal.
For More Information:
Once again we will be shining the spotlight on our amazing breast cancer survivors and caregivers. This week our Spotlight Survivor is Mar Silverblade.
How and when did you learn about your cancer?
I am a breast cancer with metastasis in the lymph nodes survivor. I learned that I had cancer in October 2013 after I went to see my doctor because of a lump in my left breast.
What types of treatment(s) have occurred?
Started chemotherapy on November 2013 till April 2014. I had lumpectomy surgery and all my lymph nodes to the right side were removed also. After surgery, I started estrogen hormone inhibitor treatment with Anastrozole. I went through seven weeks of radiation post surgery.
April 14, 2014, is a day I will always remember, that day after surgery, my Oncologist nurse called to tell me that I was cancer free.
I felt blessed at the time and also right now. Still, the journey to recovery continues, I did not tolerate my treatment with Anastrozole, later I took Letrozole for more than two years till I had severe joint/bones pain, so much so, that I could not walk farther than a block. The Oncologist stopped the medication for four months, I did recover from the joint pain after that time.
In January of 2019, I was taking Aromasin with some of the same bad side effects showing up already.
Nobody said that it would be easy, it is not, but I am not giving up!
What have been the most important things that have helped you through your survivorship?
Having my husband, family, friends, and the online ACS Support Group in Second Life helping me all the way. Knowing that I am never alone makes all the difference in my journey throughout my cancer treatments and recovery. Also, my belief that there is a God who is always there to help me.
What have you learned from your experiences that you would like to share?
That even in the most difficult times I have the ability to fight back. That I am never alone in my journey.
Are there positive experiences you would like to share?
Yes, the support of family, friend and Second Life support group made a big impact in my life. I wish I never had cancer. But it happened, so I learned about how strong I can be in such difficult times. I know how much my loved ones care for me and that I even have virtual friends that are there for me 24/7 as much as I am there for them.
For three years now I have been a volunteer in an online support group for people in cancer treatments and survivors. I am part of the ACS Support Group in Second Life. I am very proud of this group, everyday people come together to help each other in the journey to survive. Helping others helps me to know that I am are never alone.
This is my motto, I say it over and over, “we are not alone in this journey. Together we can cope with anything.”
What else would you like to tell us?
Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I am a member and moderator of the Hope Haven – ACS Support Groups in Second Life .
Five years ago I met Sandie Loxingly in a Relay For Life Christmas event. She told me about the support group that meets at Hope Haven, which takes place every Sunday at noon SLT. I went the next Sunday. I was so pleased to be able to meet people that have gone through cancer treatment and others that were in treatment, all of us cancer patients and survivors are willing to share our story and support one another.
I will always be thankful to Sandie for being there that day when she opened the door of the support group for me.
We meet every day as we please in the Support Group Chat Room. Also, we have Sundays meetings in person at the Hope Haven Support Group Network building. If we can’t be on Second Life we can communicate and share stories and thoughtful articles, and so on in the group Facebook page.
Also, The amazing support from the ACS Caregivers Support Group in Second Life gave to me when my sister passed away last January 02, 2019 is still in my heart.
Currently, I am dealing with very bad side effects from Aromasin an estrogen hormone inhibitor, but I am not feeling isolated in my journey. I asked for help, in the support group, with my feelings of having to choose with my Oncologist if I will have to stop my medication, losing the protection against another possible metastasis.
I just needed to know that others can deeply understand the nightmares that come with the uncertainty of your future. As soon as I shared my concerns many people in the group supported me and gave me suggestions.
I asked others with the same diagnosis how are they were coping and they shared with me their good wishes and many more little details of caring and taking the time to listen to me.It really makes all the difference in the world knowing that I am not alone.
I know that whatever I do it will have to be with my Oncologists medical advise. That having been said, the support from the group is also part of my daily routine. I am there for them and they are there for me. That is priceless!
The ACS Support Groups in Second Life gives me comfort and the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you are with your peers. I can be myself with them, we trust each other, we deeply care for one another, we fight together, we celebrate our victories and we hold each other in the dark times. There is so much more to say, but for now, with a chemo brain, all I can say is thank you to all of you for being there for me.
I am living one day at the time, because of all the side effects of medications, my life is not easy and my road to recovery probably will never end but I am fine with that, I am a fighter, I am not giving up.