We all know that physical health is not just about jumping on a treadmill, StairMaster or elliptical. It’s way more than sit-ups, crunches and squats. You have to feel! Take control of your life and your health!
Breast self-exams are of vital importance, regardless of a woman’s age or family history. Very young women have been diagnosed with this monster. Family history offers many indicators but don’t be remiss if there is no history of it in your family. You can easily be the first. A very close in-law of mine has been battling it and she is the first in her family. She is very athletic – this woman runs marathons and is in the healthcare industry. She was diagnosed early enough that she is in remission now, but the bottom line is she is the first in her family. I personally know of a young lady in her mid-twenties who is currently receiving chemo to combat this evil. Don’t assume that you’re safe because of age or genetics.
Even if you fall into one of these unusual categories, early diagnosis can be a life-saver. Women should perform their breast self-exam 7-10 days after their menstrual period starts which is also when your breasts are the least tender and lumpy. If you are no longer menstruating, then you should select the same day of the month (first day of the month for example) and mark it on the calendar to remind yourself when to perform this self exam. If you’re a tech-savvy type of gal, there are apps to remind you. Ladies, this is so important.
According to the National Cancer Institute:
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Over 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%.
Over 30% of women are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage.
In addition to your own monthly self-exams, be sure to get a mammogram. Schedule your yearly mammogram today. This procedure is not painful and could mean the difference between life and death. Your gynecologist or family doctor should also be performing physical breast exams at your yearly visits. Do this for your family. Do this for yourself. Your very life may depend on it.