Sunday, November 18, 2007

Listen Up, Everyone!!!

Breast Cancer is Not Your Grandmother's Disease!!!

Got it?? More and more I'm hearing about young women -- younger than the "recommended mammogram age" -- who are being diagnosed with breast cancer. My friend Denise was 33 when she was diagnosed 3 years and 15 surgeries ago. I recently heard about a 19-year-old who has breast cancer. There's a Mom from Kaitlyn's preschool class who looks beautiful with her head covered by a scarf -- but not by choice. This is no fashion statement.

I've heard that they are going to lower the recommended age for your first Mammo because so many young women are fighting the disease. (Right now, the powers that be recommend that you have a baseline Mammo done between 35 and 39. Then, after 40 they recommend you have yearly mammograms.)

Hopefully everyone will get on the bandwagon soon. But even if that happens, you are (and will continue to be) your best defense. What should you do?

1. Self-Exams are your #1 line of defense. If you aren't sure how to do a self-exam, go to www.Komen.org and download the "how-to" card. Whether you prefer to Check your Chi-Chi's, Knead your Knockers, Squeeze your Oranges or whatever.... The point is you need to get very familiar with your breasts. They're yours, and God gave them to you for KEEPS. Whether they're little mosquito bites or big melons, they're perfect just like God made them. To keep them that way, you've got to get friendly with them!

2. Mammograms are of utmost importance. If you have a family history they're hugely important, but did you know a large percentage of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are not considered a high risk because they there's no breast cancer in their family trees??

I had my first Mammo at 35, and I had another one this year. No, it's not comfortable. But from what I understand, it's nowhere near as bad as chemo!

3. Be proactive!! ASK to have a mammogram. ASK to have an MRI if you think you need one. And please, please... If your doctor sees something suspicious and wants to "just watch it" awhile, please get a second opinion!

This is not a disease to play around with.

Big Hugs,
d.

No comments: