Tag Archive W.O.M.E.N.’s H.O.U.S.E.

Understanding Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Did you know that there is not just one form of Breast Cancer? In fact, today, there are many different “subtypes” of Breast Cancer. These subtypes of Breast Cancer are generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The most successful treatments for breast cancer target these receptors. 

Unfortunately, when it comes Triple Negative Breast Cancer, none of these receptors are found in women who are diagnosed. In other words, According to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis means that the offending tumor is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2-negative, thus giving rise to the name “triple negative breast cancer.” On a positive note, this type of breast cancer is typically responsive to chemotherapy. Because of its triple negative status, however, triple negative tumors generally do not respond to receptor targeted treatments. Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer.

Age, Race or Ethnicity: Several studies suggest that being pre- menopausal, African-American, Latina or Caribbean increases your risk of developing basal-like or triple-negative breast cancer. Among African-American women who develop breast cancer, there is an estimated 20 to 40 percent chance of the breast cancer being triple-negative. Researchers do not yet understand why premenopausal women and women in some ethnic groups have higher rates of triple- negative breast cancer than other groups of women.

Source: Guide to Understanding Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Researchers are still learning why some women are more likely than others to develop triple-negative breast cancer. Research supports a relationship between risk and your genes, age, race and ethnicity.

Breast Cancer: Myths & Facts

Between our peers, magazines, newspapers and the internet, we are flooded with information regarding Breast Cancer. Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming, but with the help of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., we thought it would be important to share some of the most common myths and facts regarding Breast Cancer. 

Myth: Finding a lump in your breast means you have Breast Cancer

Fact: Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.  But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not. Make sure to click HERE to see how to perform your own breast exam at home! 


Myth: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread

Fact: A mammogram currently remains the highest standard for the early detection of breast cancer. Breast compression while getting a mammogram cannot cause cancer to spread. According to the National Cancer Institute, “The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low.”


Myth: If you have a family history of Breast Cancer, it is likely you will develop Breast Cancer

Fact: While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.  


Myth: Breast Cancer is contagious 

Fact: You cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else’s body. Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth of mutated cells that begin to spread into other tissues within the breast.


Myth: Deodorant causes Breast Cancer

Fact: Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.


REMEMBER: You know your body better than anyone else, if you feel something is not normal with your body, it is imperative to see your doctor as soon as you can. 


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

W.O.M.E.N. is going PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing important information vital to every woman’s health. There is no better time than now to take the best care of your body you possibly can and we hope to help you every step of the way. 

The first step in being proactive regarding Breast Health can be done in the comfort of your own home, a Breast Self-Exam. A woman is suggested to perform a Breast Self-Exam once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”  While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. How should a self-exam be performed? Below are some tips for performing a Breast Self-Exam at your convenience.

In the Shower: Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

In front of a mirror: Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

Lying Down: When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

Can you rely on self-exams alone to make sure you are cancer free? Remember, mammograms can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns. 

W.O.M.E.N. has individual Brest Self-Exam cards in our office, which are free to the public! Can’t make it to the office? Just send us your information and we will be happy to send a card to you or your loved one. 

Ovarian Cancer – Signs and Symptoms

It is always important to pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you from head to toe. It is especially important for women to pay attention to certain gynecologic signs that may be abnormal.  Those signs may be your body telling you something is seriously wrong. According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, about 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 14,030 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States. A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 72 and a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 95.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, Ovarian cancer may cause one or more of these signs and symptoms—

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge from your vagina that is not normal for you.
  • Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area (the area below your stomach and between your hip bones).
  • Back pain.
  • Bloating, which is when the area below your stomach swells or feels full.
  • Feeling full quickly while eating.
  • A change in your bathroom habits, such as having to pass urine very badly or very often, constipation, or diarrhea.

Research suggests that the majority of women with ovarian cancer experience symptoms. Symptoms vary and often depend on the location of the tumor and its impact on the surrounding organs. Many ovarian cancer symptoms mimic those of less life-threatening conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome which makes it even that much more important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms. 

When Faced with Resistance…

When faced with resistance, apply persistence! 

W.O.M.E.N. On A Journey – Our 2013 Spring/Summer Newsletter

A bit of time has gone by since the last edition of ‘W.O.M.E.N. On A Journey’, and what a journey we are on. There have been a lot of exciting changes, additions, and ideas going on in and out of the office and we are all very excited for this next chapter of the organization. In keeping with our mission, W.O.M.E.N. has been a part of numerous health fairs and festivals throughout the community.  We have formed wonderful new partnerships and are conducting on-site health screens and counseling in addition to our other services. As you will read further in this edition, we also have a number of new campaigns that are shaping up to not only change our organization, but change the lives of those we touch. 

Please click HERE to view our 2013 Spring/Summer Newsletter! 

My Life With AIDS, Tragedy to Triumph – Available NOW

With FIVE STARS on www.amazon.com, My Life With AIDS, Tragedy to Triumph is available now! Considered “a must read” by one reviewer,  “Catherine not only delivers a powerful message, but one that is heartfelt, honest and impactful. It is one of the most important messages that a woman (or man) could witness.”

Just like her previous work, Catherine Wyatt-Morley has poured her heart into this book using every bit of strength she has. Catherine went through a cycle of internalizing and self-educating, before she gained the strength for helping others. Desperately seeking sanity in an insane diagnosis, she took control of her life through the pages of her first book, AIDS Memoir Journal of an HIV Positive Mother written to her children and in 2005, Catherine joined Ian Mayo-Smith in writing a second book, entitled Positive People: Combating HIV and AIDS (Trafford Publishing).

In AIDS as in many other diseases both physical and psychological, the most successful prevention efforts aim not just at informing people, but also at changing social norms. Catherine’s life and W.O.M.E.N. carry out both of those tasks. Catherine hopes to remain at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS and fervently believes that before the sun sets on another child’s dreams, HIV must be eliminated. “I can say that she not only writes the message, but she LIVES the message each day as she strives past her own struggles to educate and impact others.” – amazon.com review of My Life With AIDS, Tragedy to Triumph. 

My Life With AIDS, Tragedy to Triumph is available HERE  in paperback and Kindle version

 Pick up your copy today!

Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS – What You Need to Know

Motherhood is an experience that everyone who wants to, deserves to experience. It is as rewarding as it is life changing, and it is imperative that you are in the best health you can be to start your child’s life the healthiest way possible. What most people don’t realize is that there are ways to get pregnant and not infect your partner or the child. With that said, when embarking on this journey, it is imperative to know that HIV can be spread to your baby during the pregnancy, while in labor, while giving birth, or by breastfeeding. Luckily, you will have many choices to make about lowering the risk of passing HIV to your baby. Just because you have HIV doesn’t mean your child will get HIV. In the United States, before effective treatment was available, about 25 percent of pregnant HIV-positive mothers who didn’t breastfeed and did not receive anti-HIV treatment in pregnancy passed the virus to their babies.

Today, the risk of giving HIV to your newborn is below 2 percent. But you and the baby must get the right HIV drugs at the right times. The steps below can lower the risk of giving HIV to your baby.

  • -Get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant.
  • -Start HIV treatment before pregnancy if you need it for your own health. Or, you can start treatment during pregnancy to lower the risk of passing HIV to your baby. If you are already on treatment, do not stop, but do see your doctor right away. Some HIV drugs should not be used while you’re pregnant. For other drugs, you may need a different dosage.
  • -Make sure your baby is tested for HIV right after birth. Your doctor or clinic should be experienced in managing babies who have been exposed to HIV. They will tell you what follow-up tests your baby will need, and when.
  • -Ask your doctor about starting treatment for your baby right away if your baby is diagnosed with HIV. This may require a number of tests and you may not know until he is 2 to 4 months old.
  • -Until you know that your baby is HIV-positive or HIV-negative, ask your pediatric HIV specialist if your baby might benefit from anti-HIV medicines. New research shows that putting a newborn on a 2- or 3-drug anti-HIV medicine plan cuts the infant’s risk of HIV by 50 percent (compared to using one drug only).
  • -Ask your doctor about other medicines the baby may need to prevent opportunistic infections until you know for sure whether the baby has HIV.

If you want to get pregnant, or just found out you are pregnant, you need to get to a doctor right away. If you need help finding the resources for you, give us a call and we will be happy to help!

Your Community Impact Planning Committee Meeting

W.O.M.E.N.’s H.O.U.S.E. News!!!

W.O.M.E.N. hosts Your Community Impact Planning Committee Meeting!

This is your invitation to play an integral role in planning the next phase of W.O.M.E.N.; W.O.M.E.N.ís H.O.U.S.E.

What is your part? We invite your ideas, resources, advocacy, and general support.

When: Friday, October 28, 2011

Where: At W.O.M.E.N.
417 Welshwood Drive
Nashville, TN. 37211

Time: 5:30pm

Light refreshments will be served.



If you are interested in participating in the October meeting, please R.S.V.P. to: Alethea.kelly@educatingwomen.org or by calling: 615-256-3882.

Your Community Impact Planning Committee Meeting (RSVP REQUIRED)

This is your chance to play an integral role in planning the next phase of W.O.M.E.N.; W.O.M.E.N.’S H.O.U.S.E.!

What is your role? We invite your ideas, resources, advocacy, and general support.

Join us on Friday, September 16, 2011 from 5pm-6pm at W.O.M.E.N.’s office.


A complimentary meal will be served.


Please RSVP by calling 615-256-3882 or email alethea.kelly@educatingwomen.org.

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