It seems these days everyone has pumpkins, costumes, and ways to celebrate the season with their little ones on the brain. For many of us October is the start of what becomes a whirlwind of holiday celebrations. We find ourselves busy picking out costumes, baking special treats, and scanning the pumpkin patch for one worthy of carving. But there is more to this month than costumes, candy, and terror.
I know something scarier than ghosts or goblins. It takes lives, leaving casualties behind sometimes little casualties — the ones we work so hard to make sure the holidays are special for.
I am talking about cancer. It is a disease that has left not one of us untouched. I have family members who have fought this horrible disease and won, and I have family members who are now gone leaving us with nothing more than heavy hearts as we strive to honor their memory.
This month isn’t just about the return of pumpkin spiced drinks at the local coffee shops or finding the best costume. It is about raising awareness. After all, October is breast cancer awareness month.
According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, early detection has been instrumental in increased survival rates. This early detection has been in part to an increase in mammography screenings. This month I would like to encourage you to get your screenings and/or regular physical exams and between them examine your own breasts.
The Feel Your Boobies Foundation encourages women to do just that. Their founder, Leigh Hurts, found a lump in her breast simply by feeling them. She was 33 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to their foundation, for women who are considered “pre-mammogram” (those under the age of 40) feeling our boobies allows us to get to know our bodies better so that we can detect changes in our breasts.
So, ladies, while I am sure if you have a partner they would be happy to help; this is for you to do. I know you are busy, we all are but make the time. Before you get out of bed, in the shower or in traffic (ok, maybe not while in traffic) just do it. We have to do better about caring for our own bodies. We invest so much in trying to make our children happy but remember part of what makes them happy is having us. You want to be there to help them put on their costumes each October and to tell them to stop eating candy so they don’t get a stomachache. You want to be there to see all that life has in store for them, and for you, not just this year but for the ones that follow.
This month as we continue to honor those whose fight against cancer has come to an end and support those who are fighting, let’s do our best to ensure that we are placing the same amount of value on our own lives and well-being as we do the people we love.
Now put the Halloween candy down and go feel those boobies would you?
Self-exams are just one part of a breast health plan. Remember to always discuss any changes with your physician.
Photo Source: Feel Your Boobies Foundation
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