San Antonio – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, this disease affects many patients every day.

Online research studies by the Breast Cancer Society show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Many organizations take part in educating women about the signs to look for when examining their bodies. Breast cancer can be cured if caught early on with invasive medical treatments.

The Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF), a nonprofit, works hard every day to support the needs of men and women that may need help reaching out to medical professionals.

ABCF’s mission statement is to end breast cancer by assisting patients, informing health professionals and policymakers, and expanding knowledge through education and community outreach.

Jonathan Colemere, executive director at ABCF, stresses the importance of breast cancer awareness and how it is vital to conduct community outreach. The organization works based on volunteering and local companies who are sponsors.

ABCF does not offer any medical services but serves as a navigation system that can direct a person needing financial assistance to fund their medical appointments. For example, this Foundation can assist with setting up insurance such as Medicaid.

ABCF works well with the University Health System (UHS) and a program called Carelink, an in-house means-based plan. ABCF has inside resources that are linked directly to UHS.

The Medicaid Breast and Cervical program is linked to the state Medicaid, was developed 20 years ago by the ABCF and passed by the Texas state legislation. It will help those with a higher income base than what is usually allowed with regular Medicaid.

COVID-19 has played a rigorous role in breast cancer awareness. Since the Pandemic began, mammogram appointments have decreased. The fear of contracting the virus while at a physician’s office is responsible for the distress.

The COVID-19 vaccine also played a role in women having positive mammograms.

The primary concerns that radiologists had been due to the vaccines causing inflammation in the upper part of the body, including the breasts. Mammograms would show hints of fibrosis resembling early-stage breast cancer. After recent studies, it is recommended that women wait at least six weeks before having a mammogram.

Not only does breast cancer affect women, but it also affects men. One in 100 patients diagnosed will be affected with male breast cancer.

“Half a percent to one percent of all breast cancer cases will be in men,” Colemere said.

In women, statistics are much higher and, in the past, have affected older women. Sylvia Campa, a retired breast cancer survivor for the last 17 years, was diagnosed at age 53. It was just a routine yearly mammogram with no symptoms or pain.

“The doctor said to me you have breast cancer,” Campa said. “I couldn’t believe it. But, I feel well, maybe it’s a mistake, I feel well, I’m fine.”

Even after several appointments, Campa felt that she was in denial. She kept busy working and attending her chemotherapy after her surgery. The outcome was a success after about a year and a half as her mammogram detected the Cancer early, and doctors were able to cure her.

At present, studies show that this sickness is affecting younger women. It is highly recommended that women check their bodies regularly at home when in the shower or getting dressed. It is effortless to do, and nothing is required other than a self-exam pressing around the underarm and breast. Look and feel in the area around your breast, an inverted nipple, or any discharge. If you find any of these, please reach out to your primary physician.

The ABCF hosts its annual Alamo Advocate program at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the world’s largest breast cancer conference. The event focuses on the science part of breast cancer, uniting thousands of doctors worldwide.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition, National Cancer Institute, and the Food and Drug Administration will be a few of the affiliations joining the educational sessions. This year’s program will be a four-day event that begins Dec. 7 through Dec. 11, located at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center.

If you would like any information or volunteer, you can contact the ABCF located at 3014 Rivas Street or call 210-692- 9535.


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