The Big Girl Chronicles: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2013
Nestled in the corner seat of a cozy dining room, I listened intently as a breast cancer survivor in her sixties recants her battle with the breast cancer from almost 20 years ago. She described the doctor finding benign tumors of various sizes that had gone undetected along with a growth measuring just under a centimeter that had to be removed. I get a glimpse of the pain and anxiety she had to endure during the weeks of recovery from her facial expressions as she describes the treatments and follow-up visits. “I always knew that something was wrong. I’d had problems with my breasts for years,” she shares. “So, getting checked was a must.” Fortunately, her early detection caught the cancerous growth before it could spread and she’s not had another bought with the disease. Her testimony speaks volumes as to why women simply must make self-checks and annual mammograms a priority.
“I’ve never had problems with my breast,” you say. Don’t take that for granted. Early detection is the single most important factor to surviving the disease. In this case, early detection was detrimental to maintaining health with the least complications. “I have no family history,” you say. Although family history of breast cancer increases your risk, not having a family history doesn’t exclude you as a possible candidate for breast cancer. Listen to the testimonials those who’ve faced the disease have to share and heed their advice.
If you’ve been fortunate enough not to have had a breast cancer scare then take this month to not only continue in preventive measures such as self checks and routine mammograms, but focus on being a supporter of breast cancer research and other breast cancer survivors. Below are a few resources for more information:
The Susan G. Komen Foundation
American Cancer Society
National Breast Cancer Foundation
Pink Ribbon Store.com (every order funds mammograms for women in need)
Make time to get checked. If you know someone who hasn’t been checked, suggest that they accompany you. Don’t take your body for granted. Invest in your health.