October is breast cancer awareness month
Think Pink and Save the Ta Tas
Working in oncology, this subject is very touching to me. One in seven women will develop breast cancer and men are not excluded from this dreadful disease. It is very important for women to get a yearly mamogram and if you are in doubt and feel that something is wrong you have every right to get it checked out.
Ladies and men alike be aware of any changes in your breast by doing self breast exams monthly. It is easier to do them in the shower with soapy hands and covering the entire breast area and under the arm.
If you find any suspicious lumps, bumps or discharge it is important to tell your doctor so they may make appropriate arrangements for you to get checked out. The life you save may be your own and you owe it to your family that loves you.
When in doubt check it out.
Statistics Can Be Alarming
Women are Being Robbed
With so many new diagnosis of breast cancer each year, there is a test you can get to see if you have the gene mutation. It is called BRCA testing. This test is a DNA test that women can get when one or more women in the same family come down with breast cancer. Although only 17% of women will acquire hereditary breast cancer it still could save your life.
The down fall of the testing is that most insurance companies will not pay for the testing and it can cost as much as 1,000 dollars. I would think they would rather pay for preventative measures then to pay for treatment once a women is diagnosed with it.
I have two sisters that have had lobular carcinoma stage 3 and stage 4 but both are here and are fighting the fight to be a survivor.
Who is at Risk for Breast Cancer?
The list is endless for who is at risk but some of the common risks are: Taking birth control pills, having a baby after 30, smoking, alcohol, working night shifts and environment chemicals are just a few of the many things that can increase your chances of breast cancer.
Finding out early and getting treatment is the only way you have the best chance to beat this disease. Once it gets into the lymph nodes it can travel quickly or mutate to other parts of your body.
Find out if you are at risk by educating yourself. As a woman you have to take control of your healthcare. You are responsible to make sure you get a prescription from your doctor every year to get a mammogram.
Checking Your Breast Monthly
Why Do Women Wait too Long?
That old stigma of it can't happen to me needs to be flushed down the toilet. Yes it can happen to you and 1 in 7 it will happen to.
We are too busy to get a mammogram.
It doesn't hurt
I have too many lumps I wouldn't know if it changed
I will be late for work
Although some of these excuses are probably logical, the fact that you may be missing many days of work getting chemo and radiation that you won't have a job any longer. There are too many ways to get mammograms even free ones. If you are low income or no income there are places that will do mammograms for you for little or no cost.
Stop making excuses and do it. If you have small children, how would they live without their mother? Why would you be that selfish to your family that you could die without treatment?
If your life depended on saving your child so they could live you would do it in a heart beat. You would give them every organ out of your body, so they could survive. So love yourself enough to do the right thing.
How to Schedule a Mammogram
When you turn 35 or find a lump in your breast before that, you will get your first base line mammogram. Once you consult with your doctor of gynecologist, they will give you a prescription to schedule your mammogram.
The prescription is an important part of the course so please take care of it. Sometimes your doctors office will schedule the procedure for you but you must tell them what days and times are good for you.
A lot of centers are staying open later and even on weekends to provide services to those who work.
You may only have certain places that your insurance will pay for, but mammograms and preventative yearly exams usually are not cost to the patient. Schedule your appointment and show up at least 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. If you have changed living arrangements, then you should get your films or cd from the last place you had a mammogram and bring it with you so the radiologist can compare films.
The procedure it's self should only take about 15 minutes to take films of both breast. They will instruct you through the whole process so you will be comfortable.
On the day of your exam do not wear any deodorant or powder because these things may interfere with the films giving you a miss diagnosis.