October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the E-T is inviting readers who are battling, have survived or have witnessed a love one fight breast cancer to share their stories about this disease that affects so many women, and men, across the world.

If you would like to share your story with the E-T, please email aowens@empiretribune.com with your name, place of residence and a contact number.

In the United States about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer sometime in their lifetime.

There will be an estimated 246,660 women diagnosed with breast cancer this year with about 2,600 men diagnosed.

Though these numbers are high, the rates actually started to decrease in 2000 after increasing the previous two decades before that.

While breast cancer may not cause any symptoms initially, here are some symptoms to pay attention to:

Swelling of all or part of the breast Skin irritation or dimpling Breast pain Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin A discharge other than breast milk A lump in the underarm area It is important for women to do a self-exam at least once a month and women over the age of 40 to get a mammogram done annually.

For more information relating to breast cancer visit www.breastcancer.org.