Message from HARC:
October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a national health observance designed to raise awareness and promote early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Local nonprofit HARC, Inc. (Health Assessment and Research for Communities) provides an in-depth look into breast cancer and available resources for our local residents.
Breast cancer involves excessive cell growth in the breasts and typically, the formation of a tumor. There are different types of breast cancer, and these types depend on the location in which the cancer cells formed. Most often, this will begin in the ducts or lobules, resulting in ductal carcinoma or lobular carcinoma. These cancer cells can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
While breast cancer affects both men and women, it’s significantly more common in the latter. In fact, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among many groups of women. For the year of 2017 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 250,000 cases of invasive breast cancer occur among women in the United States.
What Can You Do?
Breast cancer can be detected early on with mammograms, breast MRIs, and clinical breasts exams. While screening does not prevent breast cancer, it can help to catch breast cancer early, making treatment easier and increasing life expectancy.
The Coachella Valley has a strong support system for people who are diagnosed with cancer, and for their networks. Here are a few of the local organizations dedicated to supporting people with cancer:
• Desert Cancer Foundation provides cancer treatment assistance for individuals with cancer in the Coachella Valley. This local nonprofit helps individuals who need financial assistance to obtain screening, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer.
• Cancer Partners (formerly Gilda’s Club Desert Cities) offers emotional, social, and educational support for everyone impacted by cancer in the Coachella Valley, including caregivers and family members. They offer support groups, educational activities, and social activities.
HARC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Palm Desert, CA. HARC provides research and evaluation services in the field of health, wellness, and quality of life, with a special focus on the Coachella Valley. To learn more about HARC, visit www.HARCdata.org