Has breast cancer impacted your life in any way?
Every year, the world celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness month . It’s an annual opportunity to learn and spread knowledge about the disease.
While breast cancer impacts us daily – not just people living with the disease, but their families and friends, too – it’s good to have a whole month devoted to promote awareness.
The disease runs on my mother’s side of the family, so I have a genetic predisposition to it.
As a woman, I started getting ultrasounds done of my breasts at 35. By 37, I was getting yearly mammograms . It’s just something I stay on top of and remember to do because I want to be safe, especially since I have cystic and dense breasts .
What else causes breast cancer? Apart from genetic history and conditions, there are many breast cancer risk factors for women that start to pile up as we grow older. If you’re over the age of 50, or started menstruating early and began menopause late, these are markers to be aware of.
Please celebrate breast cancer awareness every day. We all need to carefully monitor our health so we can catch any problems early.
Here’s how to keep breast cancer awareness going throughout the year:
Regular screening mammography gives you and your doctor insight into your health, even if you’re not experiencing any worrisome symptoms. This process can help reduce the number of women from the ages of 40 to 70 that die from breast cancer due to early detection.
We all have that one friend that puts off her mammograms or insists on getting a single annual exam instead of regular visits. Talk to them about the benefits of getting checked. It can be tiring to speak with someone who doesn’t want to be convinced, but it’s worth it if you care about them.
Don’t forget that you are your best advocate. I always follow up and ask for details! I’m always looking for more ways to improve my health. Doing this also lessens the chance of your doctor accidentally forgetting to mention something important. And note, there are different medical options than just mammograms these days too if your are nervous about radiation. Stay curious.
Check yourself by conducting a breast self-exam at least once a month. Ideally, you should wait to do it a few days after your period ends, so your breasts won’t be tender or swollen. You should know how your breasts normally feel and look more than anyone. I use Body Oil a lot, so when I apply I always go in for an extra check of my breast. It’s just a habit at this point.
If your loved ones won’t listen to you, maybe sharing articles and blogs – including this one – will help make a difference. Sometimes it’s easier to give someone information they can read or watch at their own pace.
Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month is not as simple as wearing a pink ribbon every day.
Donate to charities or your local chemo center. Talk to breast cancer survivors. And most of all, encourage the idea that everyone and anyone can have conversations about breast health.