It’s Time To Talk About Breast Cancer

It’s the first week of October. If you’ve been in any store lately you’ll know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can’t miss the pink displays of mops, hats, candles and cookies. You might think you’ve heard it all, when it comes to information about Breast Cancer Awareness. Since the year I graduated from high school (1985…yeah, I’ll admit it) we’ve been surrounded by magazine articles and news stories, reminding us to be informed. I thought I was pretty educated on the topic. Even as my health care provider handed me the self breast exam reminder chart at my yearly visit this week, I thought I’d heard it all.

Then I saw this article in the newest issue of Glamour Magazine. Seven things you don’t know about breast cancer. “Yeah, right”, I thought, “try me!” But sure enough, I learned a lot in those seven pages.

Here’s the link. You can click over if you have a minute. In fact, I recommend it.

Although I know we have a lot of male types who also read GeekMom, I think a big chunk of our readership can look down and see some form of lump under their t-shirt right now. And you’re just the people who might need to know this new(er) information.

I hesitate to make too many comments because I know there will be people who don’t agree with some of these points. Every year there are new studies out saying this causes breast cancer, and this no longer does. But the information and science in this Glamour article seem pretty sturdy. The point of articles like this is to get us thinking. They’re published every October to make sure we don’t get complacent, that we don’t start thinking we already know it all. Their design is to shake up our thinking a bit.

I plan to ask my family doctor about a few of these points. And a few of them, like lowering your risk factors by eating right and exercising, are good advice no matter how you look at it.

Be sure to read point number 6 – Beating It Makes You Feel Badass. Malia Mills, a swimsuit designer in New York City, tells about her journey, and finding power in herself and confidence in her body, through fighting the disease. Many of her points were similar to the ones I experienced when I was adjusting to having an artificial leg. Her basic message: Learn to love yourself, no matter what.

It may be a long month of steering our shopping carts around displays of pink products, but don’t let the familiarity make you complacent. Go get that annual exam. Show up for a mammogram if your doctor recommends it. Pay attention to the foods you put in your mouth and the number of times you’ve made exercise a priority. We all have a lot to live for. Do your best to make sure breast cancer doesn’t rob you of this sweet thing called life.

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