October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A time set aside for education, engagement and early detection of this deadly disease.
According to The American Cancer Society in 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed among US women, as well as an estimated 64,640 additional cases of in situ (abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast) breast cancer.
That year, approximately 39,620 US women were expected to die from breast cancer. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
Breast Cancer is real. It effects so many families, it goes beyond color lines, social economics, religion etc. It is a destroyer of families and is not to be ignored or discounted. As I do every year I write about Breast Cancer and the effect it had on my family. The loss of two of my aunts and most recently the disease has reared it’s ugly head into my generation and touched my beautiful sister in law. Thankfully with knowledge and aggressive medial and spiritual measures my Sister is on the mend. God is certainly good and His mercy endures forever!
Please self test and be aware of the changes your body may be going through.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Create your Early Detection Plan to receive reminders to do breast self-exams, and schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history. Everything has gone digital so please download this app with reminders etc.
Self Exam Directions…
1) IN THE SHOWER
Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.
2) IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.
3) LYING DOWN
When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.
Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.
This year I am making these cute Breast Cancer Awareness earrings and will donate a potion of the funds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Inc. in honor of my Aunt’s Ruby and Betty. Please show your support at Leah Simone Designs.
Until next time…. be safe.