Be aware of breast cancer, domestic violence

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zoe Wockenfuss
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
October, national breast cancer and domestic awareness month, can be a busy month with the holiday season approaching, but that doesn’t mean it’s a time to forget the risks of breast cancer and domestic violence for both men and women.

According to the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, any physical, psychological, economic or sexual abuse in an intimate partner relationship is considered domestic violence. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or socio-economic status.

Similar to domestic violence, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. Men and women are both able to develop breast cancer; however, the likeliness of a male getting diagnosed is much lower with approximately 2,470 cases each year versus 252,710 in women. As for domestic violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience one or more forms in their lifetime.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. No one should be in the dark about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer; if an abnormality is found it should be investigated by a healthcare professional. Noticing one or two signs or symptoms does not automatically mean the individual has breast cancer. Leading a healthy lifestyle and being aware are two important factors that can help reduce the risk for breast cancer and other illnesses.

“Being able to bring breast cancer awareness into the spotlight could be that gentle reminder to those who are late on their mammogram or due for their mammogram to get those scheduled,” said Jennifer MacDonald, 436th Medical Operations Squadron women’s health clinical nurse. “It can also be a reminder to complete their monthly breast exam. It gives an opportunity to have a conversation regarding signs and symptoms of breast cancer, especially for men. I think woman are well educated and open about issues regarding their breasts, but men are still uncomfortable or uninformed about the possibilities of breast cancer.”

Many men are also uncomfortable having a conversation about the fact that there are male victims of domestic violence. According to the NCADV, male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators and nearly half of stalking victimizations against males were also perpetrated by males.

“No matter the reason it occurs, abuse is never okay or justified,” said Capt. Morgan McNabb, 436th MDOS family advocacy officer. “Our ability to reduce the occurrence of domestic violence begins with every individual member of Team Dover. If you suspect that a Wingman is in need of assistance, say something. Reach out to them, engage leadership or make a referral of suspected abuse by contacting our team at (302) 677-2711.”

On Oct. 17, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Family Advocacy Program and Hunt Housing will be hosting a “Healthy from Within” event intended to educate people on domestic violence and breast cancer awareness. The event is at the Hunt Housing Office and anyone with base access is invited to attend.

Information for this article was taken from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence.