October…it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s the month we remind every woman to do her self breast exams. We also remind them to get into the clinic and get a clinical breast exam and a mammogram.
I’m always amazed at the women who don’t want to touch themselves and do an exam. They also don’t want their provider to do an exam, nor will they get a mammogram.
Why? Most commonly…fear. What will I do if they find something? What if it’s bad? What if I have to have a mastectomy?
While I may sound harsh…but my answer here is “get over it”.
Get use to touching your breast…it is part of your body. You wash them don’t you? Well, then…do the exam and if you find something strange…see your health care provider. If you don’t know what you find…see your health care provider.
Get the mammogram. Yes, it may be a bit uncomfortable…but get it. Not all breast cancers can be found by doing an exam.
What if they find something? Good I say. Find it early, get it treated and get on with your life. The majority of breast cancers, found early can be successfully treated…some even say cured. Last I read, it was close to 95%.
Mastectomy??? Sometimes…but now there is also reconstruction.
No insurance or funds to pay for it? No problem. Visit the Breast Health page on OlderWiserWomen. You’ll find plenty of resources where you can get low cost or free exams and mammograms.
Breast cancer affects all of us – sometimes with good outcomes and sometimes not. Other than my patients, the women in my life with breast cancer are numerous. Many of them recovered, some of them recovering and a few who have passed on.
My mother is a 12 year survivor, my friend BB was told to prepare to die…she’s still here around 10 years later and thriving. My sister in law is scheduled for reconstruction this week. And my friend J…she passed on last month after 7 years of living an incredibly full life while fighting like hell. To all these women…Namaste.