Breast Cancer Awareness

I know that breast cancer awareness month is far away in October. But this month is national cancer research month, as well as women's checkup week. We all know about how awful this disease is in any form. What we don't all understand is the weight of hearing the news that it has captured someone in your family.

This last week my mother went in for a routine mammogram. In the doctor's findings there was a small lump. As most of you can guess, you think it will never happen to you. I was definitely one of those. I never saw this coming. I know it seems like I'm panicking, we have no idea what exactly the lump is quite yet. But waiting is rough! Mom had it biopsied on Friday & is recovering.

 I'm so thankful for the age we live in & the technology we have. There are many resources available to us at the click of a mouse. Experts will just tell you to speak with your physician about it any time you have a concern. This is especially specific to the people with a family history of cancer in any form. So, it goes without saying, talk to your family about health history even before you consult your doctor! Mammograms & self exams are our best chance of catching it as early as we would like. The reason we would wasn't to do this is to detect it & treat it before it spreads & is out of control. There are some that would say mammograms are more effective. Others will say that a monthly self exam is better. Why not do both? Most insurances cover at least one mammogram per year & doing a lump check on yourself is free!

"The biggest misconception about mammography is that it picks up every breast cancer. In fact, mammography misses at least 10 percent of breast cancer. So if you feel a lump that doesn't show up on a mammogram, bring it to your doctor's attention. Get it evaluated."
- Susan Greenstein Orel, M.D.

" still believes that BSE [breast self examination] is a useful and essential screening strategy, especially when used in combination with regular physical exams by a doctor and mammography. About 20% of the time, breast cancers are found by physical examination rather than by mammography. We recommend that all women routinely perform breast self-exams as part of their overall breast cancer screening." ( Breast 2014)

I can only talk about this experience so much though. I might be affected by this. However, it is not my story! Here's a little quote from mom herself.

"Like thousands of women who have mammograms and ultrasound mammography, a lesion was discovered. I was told to return in 6 mos. to have the scans repeated. I waited 4 mos and spoke to my Dr again, asking if I could go early and put my mind at ease. She went ahead and sent me to a breast surgeon, who recommended a core needle biopsy. I hadn't even thought to ask if there was more than one kind of needle biopsy. I had an ultrasound assisted court needle biopsy. My doctor gave me the choice to have a local anesthetic or Twilight sleep, and I chose the local anesthetic. This type of biopsy is quite invasive, and I really wish I would have chosen not to be brave, but rather to have the Twilight sleep option. In my case, I felt much more of the procedure than I would have liked, and the local numbing medicine did not prevent the worst of the pain. I wish I would have asked more questions before I went in."- Lisa, 51

This may seem normal, or I may sound like a broken record that is repeating everything you already know about the subject. That's fine with me! I was shocked at how many people I have talked to in the last few days that didn't know the basics. As a writer I feel a responsibility to sugar what I learn. If I could help one person to prevent cancer or detect it a treatable level, I will post this information a thousand more times until it reaches them.

Take care of yourselves mumsies! You are all precious to someone & are all happy when we take care of ourselves! Have a great Monday!!

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