KBFPC Newsletter

October 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic begins its annual Pink Flag Campaign, a fundraiser that focuses on raising awareness and funding for breast cancer screenings and other preventative health services.

Once again, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic will provide pink flags for businesses and households around our community. The community-wide display of flags serves as a reminder to access preventive care and will emphasize the importance of breast health and preventative screening services. The funds raised provide crucial sustainability, ensuring continuance of KBFPC programs that offer breast cancer screening services and breast health education.

Throughout the month of October, local businesses, organizations, and homes will display our flags in two shades of pink. Each flag is a $100 tax-deductible donation that stays right here in our community. Many supporters choose to display several flags to increase awareness and sustainability of local breast cancer resources. Flags will be delivered and displayed by a member of the KBFPC board or staff, and picked up in November at your convenience.

In addition to pink flags, KBFPC is excited to offer stickers this year. Receive a bumper sticker and water bottle sticker when you make a donation of $25 or more during the month of October. Stickers are an additional way to show your support and increase awareness of our programs.

Our sincere thanks to the individuals and businesses who are showing their support this month!

Pink Flag -- Minimum $100 Contribution

Please let us know where you would like our Outreach team to display your flags. Additional flags with each $100 increment.

Stickers -- minimum $25 contribution

Donate any amount >$25 then swing by KBFPC to pick up your stickers!

no flag/stickers -- Any amount contribution

Support KBFPC breast cancer awareness and screening services with any amount you like.

KBFPC Open House

KBFPC Medical Director Dr. Katie Ostrom will discuss current breast cancer screening guidelines at KBFPC's upcoming open house.

KBFPC Open House: Decoding Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

Friday, Oct. 14th, 5-7pm

3959 Ben Walters Lane

Homer, AK

Screening for breast cancer remains a key piece of preventative healthcare. Breast cancer screening uses various tools, which can include clinical breast exams, mammography, and genetic counseling.

In recent years, nationally recognized medical associations have failed to reach a consensus on one set of screening recommendations. This leaves practitioners and individuals with mixed information and often challenging decisions to make about what appropriate preventative care looks like.

We invite you to join us for an interesting and informative presentation by KBFPC Medical Director Dr. Katie Ostrom as she discusses current breast cancer screening recommendations and what they mean for your health.

The Open House will be from 5:00pm to 7:00pm - use this as an opportunity to mingle with community members and take a look around at KBFPC's clinic, outreach building, and REC Room. At 5:30pm, Dr. Ostrom will lead "What do they mean for me?" presentation with Q&A session to follow.

Hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Improving Your Breast Health at Any Age

Did you know that there are choices you can make to improve your breast health (and your overall health)? No matter your age, you can lower your risk of breast cancer if you limit alcohol to one drink per day or less, avoid smoking, and maintain a healthy weight. It's also important to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week and eat plenty of fruits and veggies.

It's never too early to start thinking about how to increase the possibility of having healthy breasts for lifeā€”or too late to make changes for the better.

Diet - The American Journal of Public Health (November 1, 1988) reported that fiber in your diet lowers your risk of breast cancer (as well as other types of cancer). A survey of 7,700 women found that women who were frequently constipated (often a result of a low-fiber diet), were more likely to get breast and colon cancers.

Alcohol - Some studies have linked alcohol use with an increased risk of breast cancer. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that women who consumed an average of two alcoholic beverages per day had higher levels of estrogen in their blood and urine than they did when they did not drink at all. Estrogen is a potent hormone that promotes the growth of cells in the breast and the reproductive organs; many experts think the continual exposure of breast tissue to estrogen could be at the root of breast cancer. However, since all women do not get breast cancer, there are clearly other factors involved.

Exercise - Regular exercise dramatically reduces the risk of breast cancer in young women (OB-GYN News, 1994). Research suggests that exercise shortens the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which reduces the production of ovarian hormones that have been linked to breast cancer risk. A study of 1000 women found that the risk of breast cancer decreased as the number of hours of exercise each week increased. Women who exercised 4 hours per week had over 50 percent less breast cancer than women who did not exercise.

Smoking - Several studies indicate that women who smoke are at increased risk of breast cancer, with the risk increasing with number of cigarettes per day. Research also suggests that women who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (second-hand smoke) are also at increased risk.

Oral, Ring, and Patch Contraceptives - Numerous studies have found that oral, ring, and patch contraceptives (contraception containing estrogen) offer protection again ovarian and endometrial cancers. However, the relationship between oral contraceptives and breast cancer is less clear. While most studies have not identified a link between oral contraceptive use and risk for breast cancer, a few recent studies reported finding a connection. While the results of these studies are not conclusive, they do suggest that some women may be at greater risk, including women who have not given birth, women with a family history of breast cancer, and women who have taken oral contraceptives for longer than seven years.

Due to the inconclusive nature of these studies, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), along with advisory committees from various health agencies, have recommended no changes in prescribing practices.

Since the possible link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer is not conclusive, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider about contraceptive methods that will be best for you. Your healthcare provider can discuss the pros and cons of using oral contraceptives and also recommend alternate methods of birth control.

All statistics and health information compiled from Stony Brook Medicine.

Contact Information

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic is a member-supported organization that provides broad access to reproductive healthcare services and education in a supportive and empowering environment.