Tag Archives: Breast Cancer

#25 Feel your breasts.

3 Oct

As most of you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For one month, everything is painted pink as a reminder:  from your favorite NFL team sporting their pink gloves, cleats, wristbands, and sideline caps to TV shows working in breast cancer awareness themes to companies offering their products in special breast cancer pink packaging.  And I don’t want to be left out.  I mean, what better time to give this piece of advice than during the month of October, right?

Did you know that despite the fact that the older a woman is the more likely she is to get breast cancer that younger women in their 20s can and do get breast cancer?  Did you know that although white women are more likely to get breast cancer than women from any other ethnic group that black women are more likely to die from it than white women?  And did you know that out of every 100 cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man?*

“Well, what can I do?” 

I’m glad you asked.  First, know your risk of developing breast cancer.  Know your family health history and if you’re at a particularly high risk of developing breast cancer.  Second, have a discussion with your doctor about when you should start having clinical breast screenings and regular mammograms.  Insert personal note:  I had my first mammogram in my early 20s after finding a lump during a self exam.  Despite the horror stories I had heard about how painful they are, it was not painful at all, so don’t let that keep you from getting one.**  That brings me to my third point:  know what’s normal for you.  You must actually feel your breasts to know what’s normal and to recognize when there is a change.  And don’t stop at just feeling them, but also visually exam them to make sure there aren’t any changes to the way they look.  Lastly, there are a few proactive measures that you can take: maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and limit alcohol intake (I know this last one is particularly difficult for some).   

And for my male readers who are eager to lend a helping hand interested in getting involved, you can too.  As I mentioned above, men can get breast cancer as well so speak with your doctor regarding your health (and if you have actual man boobs, that’s a post for another day and another book altogether.  Hit the gym.  Nothing about man boobs is cute.  Your breasts should not be bigger than mine.  Matter of fact, I shouldn’t look at your chest and have the word “breasts” pop in my mind.).  Aside from that, encourage the women in your life to be aware of their own breast health.  After all breast cancer doesn’t just affect one, but affects us all; therefore, this post is dedicated to the women who lost their hair, lost their breasts, and lost their lives to breast cancer.   

*Information courtesy of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Visit their site at www.komen.org for more information on breast cancer and how you can make a difference. 

**Thank God, my mammogram came back normal and the “lump” I felt wasn’t actually a lump.

(Images courtesy of Customized Girl.  To purchase t-shirts visit their site at http://www.customizedgirl.com/)