MedStar Lends a Pink-Covered Hand to Fight Breast Cancer While Protecting Workers from Infectious Diseases

Maintaining “Universal Precautions” for body substance isolation is paramount in protecting EMS workers from exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and Ebola. 

 

This year, MedStar’s EMTs and Paramedics are doing that while supporting breast cancer awareness and making a financial contribution to the cause. 

 

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MedStar EMTs and paramedics are wearing pink examination gloves during the month of October.

 

Healthcare supply company, Medline, is donating $1 for each box of “Generation Pink Exam Gloves” sold in the month of October to breast cancer research; MedStar’s monthly order will provide a $300 donation to this worthy cause.

 

“The color really stands out,” said Shannon Rucker, MedStar Paramedic.  “Hopefully this will encourage people to think about breast cancer and talk to their doctors; and it’s nice to be able to recognize those who have fought the disease, especially those we have lost,” she added.

 

Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer type found in women in the United States.  According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year.

An estimated 40,000 women are expected to die from the disease in 2014 alone.  Fortunately, due in part to research funding and awareness campaigns, today, there are about 2.8 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States. 

 

 

Early detection is the key to positive outcomes.

In the beginning of the development process, breast cancer is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms that are easily detected by the naked eye or to the touch.  As it progresses and grows however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breasts look or feel.

Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • A new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

  

 

Regular mammograms are the best tools doctors have found in discovering breast cancer early in its stage.  Sometimes mammograms can detect the cancer up to three years before it can be felt.  When breast cancer is found in its early stages and treated appropriately, many women have the opportunity to go on to living long and healthy lives.