This Issue

Breast Cancer

Former NFL
star raises awareness of breast cancer
in men

Myths about mammograms

Q & A

A closer look

The female breast contains lobes, which are made up of smaller sacs called lobules, in which milk is produced. Thin tubes called ducts carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple when a woman is breastfeeding. The breast also contains vessels that carry clear fluid, or lymph, to small, round organs called lymph nodes.

Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules. Inflammatory breast cancer infiltrates the lymph vessels, causing noticeable changes to the breast.

When breast cancer spreads, it travels through the lymph nodes to other organs — usually the bones, liver, lungs and brain.

Click here for more information

A closer look

Risk factors

Race matters

Breast cancer screening 101

Mammography van

Initiative to eliminate cancer disparities

Risk factors

A risk factor is a characteristic that increases a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. Having one or more risk factors is not a guarantee that you will get the disease. In fact, many women with multiple risk factors never get breast cancer. However, having no identifiable risk factor other than gender or age does not make a women immune to breast cancer.

Some of the major risk factors are:

• Older age

• Certain genetic mutations

• A first-degree relative with breast cancer

• A personal history of
breast cancer

• Race and ethnicity
• Dense breast tissue

• Previous chest radiation

• Hormone replacement therapy

• Obesity, particularly postmenopausal

• Excessive alcohol consumption
Race Matters

Although the incidence of breast cancer is lower in black women than in white women, between 2004 and 2008, the death rate in blacks exceeded that of all ethnicities.

The age-adjusted rates are per 100,000 women

Source: National Cancer Institute, SEER Research Data, November, 2011

Celebrating 10 years of
serving the women of Boston

The Dana-Farber Mammography Van comes to your neighborhood.

April 10
Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center
632 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester

April 11
The Dimock Center
55 Dimock St., Roxbury

April 12
South End Community
Health Center
1601 Washington St.,
South End
April 19
Geiger Gibson Community Health Center
250 Mount Vernon St., Dorchester

April 24
Bowdoin Street Health Center
230 Bowdoin St., Dorchester

April 26
Mattapan Community
Health Center
1425 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan


Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities

Boston Public Library Cancer Awareness Display -
April 1- 30

Lower Mills Branch
27 Richmond Street, Dorchester

Charlestown Branch
179 Main Street, Charlestown

Grove Hall Branch
41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester

West End Branch
151 Cambridge Street, Boston

Alternative and Complementary Health and Wellness Fair
April 11, 11 a.m. — 2 p.m.

University of Massachusetts Boston
Campus Center,
1st Floor Terrace


Cook Healthy with
Chef JD Walker
April 14, 12 — 2 p.m.

Twelfth Baptist Church
150-160 Warren Street, Roxbury

Ethnic Cooking with
Tara Mardigan, R.D.
April 25, 12 — 1 p.m.

Hope Lodge
161 S Huntington Avenue, Jamaica Plain

Boston Organics -
Differences between organic vs conventional produce
Amy Levine
April 27, 12 — 1 p.m.

The Historic Charles Street
AME Church
551 Warren Street, Roxbury


Information on Clinical Trials

Mark Kennedy
May 2, 12-1 p.m.

Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center
435 Warren Street, Roxbury

Seniors on the Move
May 21, 11 a.m. — 1 p.m.

Roxbury YMCA
285 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Roxbury

All Programs are open to the public.
For any additional information,
please contact Athene Wilson Glover at 617-632-4860.

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Breast cancer screening 101

Cancer screening is recommended for women without breast symptoms. Screening can often detect tumors before they spread, which increases the probability of successful treatment. The Affordable Care Act mandates mammograms at no cost.

  • Have clinical breast exams — exams by a health professional — at least once every three years starting in your 20s and 30s.

  • Become familiar with how your breasts normally feel so you can detect changes.

  • Initiate yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams at the age of 40.

  • Get a yearly MRI as well as mammogram if you are at very high risk for breast cancer.

  • Establish a screening schedule with your doctor that accommodates your personal risk. Some people may start screening before the age of 40.

Source: American Cancer Society

April is
National Minority Health Month

Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules. Inflammatory breast
cancer infiltrates the lymph vessels, causing noticeable changes to the breast.

A personal
experience with IBC

Courtesy of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

April 16-21 is National
Minority Cancer
Awareness Week

Early detection still key to beating the odds

Ellvera Nusum, 56, had her routine down pat. She religiously underwent yearly mammograms and checked her breasts monthly for any changes. She even timed her self-exams correctly — a few days after her period — when her hormone level was lower.

After all, she was always taught that breast cancer begins with a lump. The fact that both her maternal grandmother and aunt were diagnosed at a young age and eventually died of breast cancer kept her vigilant. More

Breast cancer in men

Ernie Green, 73, was a force to be reckoned with on the football field. He played seven seasons for the Cleveland Browns, and has two Pro Bowl appearances under his belt.

But seven years ago he had to reckon with a force that had nothing to do with football — breast cancer. He now has a clean bill of health but that was after surgery, eight rounds of chemotherapy and several years of tamoxifen to decrease the risk of recurrence. More

Myths about Mammograms

Quite likely, you’ve heard a lot about these breast X-rays, which may detect cancer long before it can be seen or felt. Just as likely, only part of what you’ve heard is true. More