October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. While I am aware of breast cancer, I didn’t really bother much about the disease until I was reminded about it. I am very fortunate that I have yet to know anybody who’s diagnosed with this cancer personally, and I have yet to detect any unusual lumps around my breast. I am fortunate.
Last week, Mint To Inspire launched a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and I’m glad to be a part of it. They gave out these free, really cute T-shirts that says “for the love of boobs” or “I love boobs” to their followers who are interested to be a part of it. The social media campaign with its #MTIxBCA2015 hashtag aims to spread awareness about the disease.
While I’m glad to put on this really cute tee and be a part of the social media movement, I thought I should play my part and do some research to learn about it too. The website for National Breast Cancer Foundation (of the United States, of course) popped up through my search results and its beautiful pink layout got me so excited to learn more about breast cancer.
I learned some really interesting facts through my research, such as:
- One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Men get breast cancer too. In fact, men carry a higher mortality than women do. This is due to the lack of awareness among men about breast cancer, and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.
- While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history.
- Physical exercise and a healthy diet help in reducing risk of breast cancer! This is because they boost your immune system; and fat, which is highly controlled when you exercise and eat healthily, triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumour growth.
As for breast exams, we can either:
- perform breast self-exam
- go for a clinical breast exam with your physician or gynaecologist
- go for a mammogram
We are encouraged to perform breast self-exam EVERY MONTH and approach our physicians when we notice any changes or suspicious symptoms (You can click here to learn how to self-check). Women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years; and those who are younger than 40 and have risk factors should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them.
And that’s about it! I feel better about myself now after I did my research and actually stood in front of the mirror to self-examine after I showered today. Maybe this will motivate you to take an extra step too? 😉