Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Although this is going to be a 'products' post, it is going to be a little different from my usual light hearted commentary and I hope it doesn't read like a public service announcement. October is breast cancer awareness month, I think we are all aware that breast cancer is 'a thing' but I don't know if many people (men can get breast cancer too) actually check their breasts regularly or are aware of what they are checking for.

I check my breasts regularly. You might think I'm over cautious but I knew someone who at 20 had to have a tumour removed from her breast: it is a common misconception that only older ladies get breast cancer but in actual fact it can affect ANYONE with breast tissue. In June 2012 I had my own breast cancer scare. My right breast was swollen, painful and after feeling around I found a hard lump. I do have 'knotty' boobs, but that is normal for me, I was more concerned by the swelling (which other people had started to notice) and pain which I had not experienced before. I went to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic where I was then referred to another doctor for a second opinion to completely rule out cancer. Lumps do not necessarily indicate cancer, as in my case I was diagnosed with benign cysts which were a result of exam stress. I was relieved it was not cancer and so thankful for how quickly my diagnosis was made, but the moral of the story is that if you find anything weird you have to get it checked out. You are not wasting your doctor's time, your symptoms might not be anything but the they might be something that needs treatment even if it is not life threatening.

I was scared to go to my doctor and I think many other people are too. Some people find it embarrassing to get their boobs out to a doctor, but you can opt to have a same-sex doctor assess you and they've definitely seen a pair of tits before. Others are scared of coming to terms with their own mortality but breast cancer doesn't mean death, survival rates are on the increase as will all types of cancer. The earlier your diagnosis, the earlier your treatment and an increased chance of you beating it.

What to look for

We are all advised to check our breasts, but a lot of people do not know what this entails. It isn't just about looking at your boobs, you have to Touch, Look and Check regularly. You can easily give yourself a breast exam, the video below will take you through what you need to do. Remember, what is normal for you, will not necessarily be normal for some one else, the only way to be sure is to keep checking regularly.

The picture below shows some things that you need to look out for, if you suffer from any of these issues please see your doctor.

How to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a charity that campaigns for cancer awareness and funds research into curing breast cancer for good. You can set up a monthly donation here or you can make a one off donation here. There are also many brands this month that are giving donations to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, you can shop for them online here while some are available in store.

I hope this post has been helpful and I hope you donate to Breakthrough Breast Cancer this month

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Did you know that in the film Toy Story, Sid's hallway carpet is the same design as the hallway carpet in The Shining? That's well creepy.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeres Jonny!