Every October I like to write about breast cancer awareness. As a breast cancer survivor I advocate on behalf of not only breast cancer awareness but also breast cancer education. To be honest my writing/speaking makes me anxious. The reason for my anxiety is there is no cure for breast cancer. Although I am cancer free I will never be cured.
There are a few cancers that are curable but breast cancer is not one. Let me say that again; there is no cure for breast cancer. Once you had breast cancer and you are still alive, you are in remission.
You might have already heard some of the facts about breast cancer but repetition is always good.
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
- The number one cause of breast cancer is too many birthdays
- Less than 10% of breast cancer diagnosis is genetic
- Early detection is the best outcome for breast cancer
- Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence
Looking at #1-3, if you are alive you are at risk. What can you do?
You can be proactive and embrace #4. Early detection means yearly mammograms starting at age 40. If you have dense breasts add an ultrasound of your breasts.
Can’t remember to get your mammogram? Schedule right before or after your birthday. No one forgets her birthday. What a great gift you can give yourself, the gift of a clean mammogram. It may not sound like much but trust me it is!
What if you did forget and are now 6-8 months late from last year’s screening? Don’t wait a minute longer and make that appointment.
In my advocacy work for breast cancer awareness I have heard zillions of excuses for not getting a mammogram. The number one excuse is women are scared to have a mammogram because they are afraid of the results. Since I do not have to use my advocacy voice and vocabulary here, I will tell you this is the biggest bag of shit lie women tell themselves! Read facts #4 and #5 again and get a mammogram!
The anxiety I feel in October makes me less patient with women being reckless with their lives.
Have you had your mammogram for the year?