If you are a woman or if you are someone who has a loved one who is a woman - mother, sister, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, aunt, cousin, or co-worker (to name a few of the roles women might play in your life), make sure that you or your loved one is not only aware of Breast Cancer Awareness Month; but also knows what to do about it.
My Story: I am 41 years old and I have been getting mammograms since I was 35 because of family history and self exams. I am fine, but I have a spot that the doctors watch. The specialist said that they can never say with absolute certainty that you do not have breast cancer, they can only confirm if you do. He also said that in most cases, breast cancer is slow growing. I took this with a grain of salt since I know several women who discovered their breast cancer during a self exam only a month after their routine mammogram; so the take away is that you have to be proactive with breast cancer.
Last year, when I did see the breast specialist, I was fortunate in that he took the time to talk to me for a long time (and he had a pleasant Irish accent to boot). He addressed my concerns and answered my questions. Then he expressed his frustration, because he said that for the people who are doing routine self exams, see a doctor for an annual check up, and get mammograms, there is a high likelihood that any breast cancer will be found in time for effective treatment. The breast specialist told me that he was frustrated, he said, because there is a whole population of women who aren't getting checked and this is where the focus of the awareness needs to be.
So, TAKE SOME ACTION: If you are one of those women, please go for a checkup; or if you have a woman in your life who you care about, ask her if she is actually doing something on a routine basis to check to make sure that they are healthy. Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives you the perfect opportunity to address this subject.
Here are some online links and resources to get you started to becoming more aware during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month: