Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's October

You know what that means right ? It means that it's Breast cancer awareness month. Have you done your self breast examination this month ? Are you up to date on your Mammogram ? You know that place on your breast that just doesn't feel/ look right ? Go get it checked out now !!!!

Everybody thinks of breast cancer as A) something that happens to somebody else, B) Something only women get,  C)  Women younger than 35 don't get it , D) It always starts off with a lump.

Guess what ? all of those assumptions are WRONG, it doesn't always happen to somebody else, you and me are just as likely to get it as the person at the end of your street, not only women get it. Yes it's rare for men to get it but they can and do, we had a male family friend diagnosed with it 15 years ago, he underwent chemo and radiation therapy and then went into remission,he was one of the lucky ones. Women of all ages can and do get it, when I was nursing back in VA we had a 16 y/o girl come in for what appeared to be nothing more that Fibrocystic Breast Disease, it did sadly end up being breast cancer. Not all breast cancer starts off with a lump, the most fatal and aggressive type of breast cancer is Inflammatory Breast cancer, it starts off w/ a red area on your breast, is tender and hot to touch, as it progresses you will notice that the breast enlarges, the nipple appearance changes and you may notice a discharge. If you notice any of the above PLEASE go get it checked out. My own mother noticed small changes in one of her breasts, the skin got dimpled and was hot to touch, she blew it off, figured it was an infected mosquito bite, it wasn't until her nipple inverted, her breast tissue turned to almost black and she was in excruciating pain that she saw a Dr, by then it was too late, the cancer had already metastasized into her bones and she died 15 months later. She never got to see her first Grandchild reach her first Birthday, she never saw her son get married, she left behind a father who had to sit back while his one and only child died in front of him, she left behind a husband who worshiped the ground she walked on, I don't get to call up my Mom and ask mothering advice, I have to rely on friends and instinct. Could her death have been prevented ? I don't know, could early detection have given her more time ? Yes, more than likely.
Can early detection of 'traditional' breast cancer save lives ? Absolutely. So go do that breast exam, make sure all the women in your life are doing theirs and if you notice or suspect that by even the remotest chance there could be something wrong make an appt and go see your Dr immediately, your friends and family will thank you for it and you won't miss out on some of the wonderful milestones in your own life and the lives of your loved ones, it might just be the most unselfish thing you've ever done.

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