CHANNELING MY PINK SIDE!
Often teenage girls ponder about their breasts in some capacity after hitting puberty. I remember as a child thinking are my breasts ever going to grow? Are they too small? Ultimately, I am happy how things turned out in that area. Women should be aware that breasts are like snowflakes…they all look different and that makes every woman unique.
After going to the OBGYN as a young adult, I remember my physician stressing the importance of doing monthly self-breast exams. Sometimes life would become so chaotic in medical school or residency that I would sometimes forget to perform these exams. In my late thirties, after my pregnancy and while I was breast-feeding, I remember performing one of these exams and feeling a painful tiny lump in one of my breasts. I felt anxious. This is when I got my first mammogram. I had to wait in a room, which seemed like forever to me while the radiologists were going over the images. The doctor finally called me back in for a follow up test, a breast ultrasound because he told me I had dense breasts.
Family History of Breast Cancer
I could feel my heart pounding at that moment because I had just found out that I had a family history of breast cancer and I chastised myself for not being consistent with my self-exams, even though I knew better as a physician. Again, the period after I got my breast ultrasound seem like an eternity until the radiologist called me into the room to speak with him. I remember going through all the scenarios in my head as I walked towards the physician. Fortunately, my diagnosis was benign but I will never forget how I felt that day. Since then, I have gotten yearly mammograms and breast ultrasounds.
Breast cancer has touched everyone I know in some way. I recently attended The Pink Agenda Gala in NYC honoring individuals who have battled breast cancer. Pink Agenda focuses on women who are fighting the disease and trying to live their best lives while going through treatment. Giuliana Rancic, the E! News correspondent and TV personality spoke at the gala to highlight the work she has done with her FAB-U-WISH charity. I was so touched by her personal story of going through her breast cancer diagnosis as well as the other stories of women who are mothers, daughters, wives, professionals all fighting their own battle of breast cancer and their loved ones who are supporting them through their treatment.
Sometimes we take our bodies for granted and forget to do the simple tasks like doing a breast exam or getting a screening mammogram when we should. It is important to stop what we are doing in our busy lives and do what we need to do as much as we can for early detection. Breast cancer can affect anyone, male or female, all races, and socioeconomic classes. At the charity event, I got the opportunity to write a letter to a brave woman that I did not know to help encourage her through her treatment.
I wanted that woman to know that even though I did not personally know her story, I was standing by her and supporting her courage through this battle. I was ecstatic to know that there are organizations like FAB-U-WISH who not only cater to helping women get through their breast cancer diagnosis but also offer services to help these woman feel beautiful through their treatment which I’m certain is difficult to feel sometimes when faced with such a life changing event.
Self Breast Exam
Ladies, please see your OBGYN, do your monthly self-breast exams, and get your mammogram or additional studies like a breast ultrasound or MRI to ensure early diagnosis and treatment if necessary. And, gents, breast self-exams are not just for the ladies….if you feel something strange, go to your doctor. Breast cancer does not discriminate.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Here are some facts about U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics that every woman and man should know:
·Female gender and increased age are the most significant risk factors for breast cancer. A family history of a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is also an important risk factor.
·About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
·Besides lung malignancy, breast cancer death rates for American women are higher than those for any other kind of cancer.
·Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women after skin cancer.
·There are racial differences in how breast cancer affects women. Overall, African American females have higher morbidity rates. Black women are more commonly affected than Caucasian women if under age 45.
·Like black women, black men with breast cancer tend to have a worse prognosis.
For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 833.
Click the links below for more info
Please check out this site for more statistics (breastcancer.org)
You are not alone in the fight against breast cancer. Many organizations offer support and guidance for anyone facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Here are a few:
National Breast Cancer Foundation (nationalbreastcancer.org)
American Breast Cancer Foundation (abcf.org)
Susan G. Komen NYC (komennyc.org)
The Pink Agenda (thepinkagenda.org)
Breast Cancer Research Foundation (https://www.bcrf.org/)
FAB-U-WISH in partnership with The Pink Agenda (https://www.thepinkagenda.
The Male Breast Cancer Organization (https://
His Breast Cancer Awareness (https://www.hisbreastcancer.
BREATHE, WEAR and CHANNEL PINK THIS MONTH!