I’m speaking to you as a Survivor, something I never thought I would be but I’m proud to say it and I want everyone to remember that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sure, we make jokes about “saving the Ta-Ta’s” and “yeah, I check my wife’s all the time” but let’s get serious for a minute.
Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common in women and the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. The Center for Disease Controls reports in 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available):
- 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer
- 40,820 women died from breast cancer
All those women were someone’s daughter, mother, aunt, neice, relative or friend. Most of us know someone who has been touched by this awful disease and many of us have been in walks, runs and fundraisers to help fight it. October is the time to look amongst ourselves as women and men, you and pass the information on to your wives, daughters and friends.
The best way to find breast lumps is to do 3 things:
- Have regular mammograms (usually every 2 years starting at age 50. If you are under 50, talk to your doctor about your risk factors for breast cancer, including your family history, to decide whether regular mammogram screenings are appropriate for you).
- Have your doctor check your breasts.
- Check your breasts yourself every month.
Doing all of these things gives you the best chance to find cancer as early as you can. Finding breast cancer early makes treatment much easier and more effective.
Do it for yourself…Do it for your loved ones…JUST DO IT!