October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Its also the month my mom was born – and passed away from breast cancer. I’ve been pondering a post on my blog all month and only have a few days left, so here it is.
Mom was diagnosed with Stage III Metastatic Breast Cancer in August of 2012 and passed away October of 2014. She found a lump about 6 months before she went to the doctor and I believe that she would be here today if she had sought help earlier. There is nothing I can do to change history, but I hope her story can help someone else.
Early detection of breast cancer is key.
I know you have heard that statement a thousand times – and it’s true. Early detection can save your life. The American Cancer Society has published research on the survival rates of early detection and they are much higher and require less overall treatment than those who are diagnosed with late stage (III & IV).
Ladies, its important to start getting yearly mammograms at 40. Most insurance plans will pay 100% of your screening. If you don’t have insurance, there are programs out there who will help you get one for free. You should also perform the super easy monthly self-exam, and have your PCP and GYN perform them during yearly appointments.
I had a scare in the fall of 2011. I found a lump on my left breast and was scared to death to go to the doctor and find out if I had breast cancer. A million thoughts ran through my head about what would happen if I had it. The prevailing thought was that the adoption agency wouldn’t let us adopt if I had breast cancer. We were working with a local agency and had just completed the 2nd step of their program.
My husband urged me to go to my doctor and she was concerned enough to send me to get an ultrasound. It turned out that I had a clogged duct that went away after a month. I found out later that many women who find lumps don’t have breast cancer.
My post today is in honor of my beautiful mother. If she were here, she would stand beside me and echo my words. Get tested. Get tested yearly and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor if you find something. If found early, your chances of survival are greatly increased.
Interested in helping cancer research? Donate to the American Cancer Society.