Why women should take their breast health seriously
October is breast cancer awareness month, and a lot of light is being shed on this disease that has affected so many women, either directly or indirectly. The purpose of bringing awareness on breast cancer is for women to get used to checking themselves, to make sure that no changes have occurred with their breasts. And if there are any changes, early detection is key to a successful treatment of the disease. Because of its severity, it should be taken very seriously. Women are advised to perform a routine examination on themselves so they can get familiar with their breasts, for them to be alert to any abnormalities.
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According to breastcancer.org, breast cancer symptoms vary widely. From lumps to swelling and to skin changes. Be ready to see your physician if you experience any of the following:
· Swelling of all or part of the breast
· Skin irritation or dimpling
· Breast pain
· Nipple pain
· Nipple discharge other than breast milk
· A lump in the underarm area
While these can be the most popular symptoms of breast cancer, many cases of breast cancers have no signs at all. For such unique situations to be avoided, women are advised to have a mammogram, once a year, every year, after they turn 40.
The last symptom resonates with me because that was the only sign my mom had when we discovered she had breast cancer. At the time, breast cancer was a foreign concept in our household. The part of the world we lived in was not equipped with enough information about the deadly disease when she was diagnosed. She was well over 40 but had never done a mammogram. The cancer had been brewing in her, for some time that by the time we discovered it, it had already metastasized and was at stage four. There was no real hope for her, and she succumbed to the disease, just six months after she was diagnosed.
Because of my mother’s ailment, at 22 years old, I had to start getting mammogram exams done yearly. According to science, I am now at a higher risk of getting the disease, so we have to take preventative measures so we wouldn't fall prey to this deadly disease for a second time. I am not afraid due to the statistics/research information out there, because of my belief system. I do what I have to do medically, while putting my faith in God that this disease will never happen again in my bloodline.
As women, we have to take proper care of ourselves. In addition to breast exams, we also have to make sure we get pelvic examinations as well such as pap smears, as they can also help in the early detection of cervical diseases, which can also include cervical cancer. We also need to be supportive of each other, by asking other women if they are getting these routine checks. Because a lot of women may be ignorant about these things. I remember one time in college when I asked a friend of mine if she had gotten a pap smear, she didn't know what that was and was very thankful that I had brought it to her attention.
Let us do better by taking care of ourselves and each other— together we can, and together we will eradicate breast cancer. For more information about breast cancer, its symptoms, diagnosis, support and more, head over to breastcancer.org.
If you are currently battling this disease or any other for that matter, I just want you to know that you are not alone, don’t lose faith. There are people who have overcome deadly diseases, and you can be one of them. Just focus on the positive things in life, and if you are a person of faith, trust God that He would heal you completely. If you need prayers and someone to stand in faith with you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.
Has breast cancer affected you personally? How did you overcome it? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Have a great week!