Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Unless you've been living under a rock October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year we participated in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk. I walked in honor of my godmother, Marcia Francois. She lost her battle just a few days before the walk. She was a phenomenal woman in every way. So full of grace. I remember visiting her at the hospital and she was still so gentle and loving after years of fighting for her life. Unfortunately, we could not participate in the walk this year but I wanted to honor her memory in a great way. So I gathered a few of my friends for a photo-shoot in her honor. We danced, we laughed and enjoyed each other's company just like she would have wanted!

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We all know someone that have survived, battling or lost their battle with this disease. We just want to take a moment to send them all of our love and support. They are heroes!

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Here are some facts:

According to the CDC breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women after skin cancer. Today, about 1 in 8 women (12%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women (lung cancer is first). The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012, about 226,870 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 39,510 will die from breast cancer.

Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are "sporadic," meaning there is no direct family history of the disease. The risk for developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages.

The symptoms of breast cancer include:

Lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle. A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea. A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast. A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple. A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed). Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple. A change in shape or position of the nipple An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast. A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

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We also want to urge women to get comfortable with their bodies. Breast self-exam (BSE) is not recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer. However, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® recommends that you become familiar with the way your breasts normally look and feel. Knowing what is normal for you may help you see or feel changes in your breasts.

Thank you to all the beautiful ladies!

Photos by Amy Hendy

With hope,

Nia