I hope that any woman, or man reading this does not still feel that breast cancer or cancer generally is a thing that happens to “people” conveniently forgetting that they belong under that umbrella name called people.
Besides being breast cancer awareness month, I have as have many others lost a few friend’s and family to the horrible disease. It is disheartening to know that there is still no cure for this but it is also comforting to know that if it is detected early, it can be treated. Guiliana Rancic of E News’ story is a popular one of early detection who went through the albeit rigorous procedure but lives a healthy and normal life, as do many others. So there is hope.
I’m encouraging everyone to join in fighting it head on. If you have fears, please speak up. Not necessarily to everyone, but speak to a doctor immediately. Speak to someone who you know will ask you again tomorrow or the next time she sees you if you have seen a doctor. One of my own biggest fears is knowing the eventual outcome of things (except movies and books), so for a really long time, attempting to have a simple self examination was a problem for me. I would worry about what will become of me if for instance I found a lump and that worry ultimately led to more worry and anxiety which mostly ended with me never doing the check. But a good part of winning this fight is checking and encouraging others to check. A good part of winning it is knowing about it, in time and “attacking” it immediately.
According to the John Hopkins Medical Centre, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
Yes, there are not many stories that end well when it comes to breast cancer and it’s very rigorous, mostly long haul treatment. It is horrifying but hopefully that can change soon.
Mammograms can detect tumours before you can feel them with your fingers, so get routine checks too. They may be costly in our part of the world which is why we must all get used to doing a monthly self examination. This way, you are familiar with your breasts and can tell when something is off. But do not panic even if you feel a lump, studies say 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous, but it is still very important to see a doctor immediately you discover anything. Also breast cancer can be genetic. Again don’t panic because studies say it is not necessarily so, but if someone in your family has had it and you have fears, speak to a doctor. It is the only way to have options even if you end up not choosing
And so this month, and in all other months to come let us not only be aware but consciously strive to win this battle. Donate to a breast cancer cause, be someone’s shoulder through treatment and recovery, go for checks together with a friend, encourage people to self examine. It is together we can fight and win this.
Breast self examinations can be done in the shower, in front of the mirror or lying down. Click here to follow these easy steps.
Still speaking of breasts, click here to read a post I put up three years ago about knowing your bra size and how a back or shoulder pain may mean that you are wearing the wrong bra.