As Breast Cancer Awareness month wraps up in a few days, I want to continue the conversation and make a final push to promote breast health.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog that mentioned a woman who was featured on CBS This Morning. She’s a nurse, a vegan, and avid runner. Yet, despite all that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. What I don’t think I mentioned about her story is that she received her diagnosis one week after she received her results of a negative mammogram. She just happened to experience extreme pain in her breasts. Even though she knew most women who discover they have breast cancer usually don’t experience any pain in their breasts, she sought medical attention.
Well, a couple days after posting that blog, I got a note from a friend. She mentioned that she previously had a couple of scares with breast cancer. She has no family history and she gets routine mammograms. In her case, her mammogram results were always negative. However, it was from conducting routine breast self-exams that she noticed changes. She was alarmed and decided to get checked by a doctor. Fortunately, in all cases, her results were noncancerous.
It’s these stories that prompted me to write this blog. I cannot stress enough the importance of every woman conducting regular breast self-exams. Here are my reasons why:
1. It often allows you to catch things that are undetectable on a mammogram. Breast self-exams supplement the mammogram.
2. Regular exams allow you to become familiar with your breasts. Then, you are more likely to notice any abnormalities.
3. Many women have fibrocystic breasts. In these cases, it’s especially important to stay aware of any changes.
The process for conducting a breast self-exam is simple. It takes very little time. The most important thing is to start doing them on a regular basis. Also, pay attention to any warning signs for breast cancer.
In conclusion, I want to encourage all women to take control of your health. The reason I write this blog, and do the work that I do, is because I want to empower women. Conducting breast self-exams is a form of empowerment at its best. You have the power to catch something that often times technology overlooks.
Question: Do you conduct regular breast self-exams?