The Lifesaving Role of Nurses in the Battle Against Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a movement that began in 1985 to help raise awareness of the disease. It’s also a time for many to celebrate survivors and remember those who have been lost.
It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. While some breast cancer diagnoses have been linked to genetics, about 85% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women with no family history of the disease. While the disease predominantly affects women, men are also at risk of developing breast cancer.
How Nurses Help Save Lives from Breast Cancer
Promoting Early Detection and Routine Screenings
Nurses, including travel nurses, are instrumental in educating patients about the critical importance of early detection. This includes promoting annual mammograms after age 45 and earlier for those at risk due to family history, genetic testing, or other factors.
Educating Patients on Self-Exams
Nurses also empower patients with knowledge and skills to perform effective self-exams, ensuring they know how to perform breast self-exams correctly and detect any unusual lumps or changes in their breasts. These self-exams make patients more aware of their bodies and able to detect changes earlier. Nurses encourage patients to alert a healthcare provider if they notice any changes so they can explore any further screening or testing that may be needed.
Providing Emphatic Care to Patients
Beyond providing education and to patients emphasizing the importance of preventative care, nurses are crucial in the care journey of breast cancer patients and survivors. They connect patients to vital resources, advocate for their patients, impart essential knowledge, and provide unwavering empathy. Their presence not only addresses patients’ anxieties and inquiries but also stands as a beacon of hope, significantly contributing to the overall healing and emotional well-being throughout the challenging breast cancer journey. This comprehensive support extends from the initial diagnosis through cancer treatment, helping patients manage the physical and emotional challenges, and continues into survivorship, fostering a strong sense of community and ensuring ongoing care, exemplifying nurses’ enduring commitment to the well-being of breast cancer patients and survivors.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a poignant reminder of the importance of early detection and prevention. With their compassion, dedication, and expertise, nurses are essential to saving lives against breast cancer. They embody the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, working tirelessly to ensure that every individual receives the care, education, and support they need to navigate this challenging journey.