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Large or small. Saggy or perky. Boobs are a part of being a woman. Some want them bigger. Others want them reduced. But I think it's safe to say we all want them healthy. This post is a Public Service Announcement. Last week, I learned that a dear friend of mine has breast cancer. It’s Stage 1. Hasn’t spread. But there is some family history, which makes things a little scarier. She plans to undergo a double mastectomy.
As she shared her story, this beautiful soul spoke calmly and with gratitude.
In keeping with her always sunny outlook, she’s viewing this as a “life-saving diagnosis” and not a life-threatening one.
Nonetheless, it sucks and it’s terrifying.
During our conversation she explained that she’s been tracking a small lump in her left breast for about four months.
It's about a knuckle’s width from the nipple.
When she first discovered the lump, she told her doctor.
She had it checked out.
Her concerns were easily put to rest because her lump was all the things we’ve heard breast cancer lumps are not.
Her lump was painful to the touch.
Her lump was not attached to the breast tissue… it moved when palpated.
Her lump was not irregular in shape.
Yet over the past four months, her lump grew from the size of half a pea, to that of a whole pea... to that of a Lima bean.
She and her doctor decided it was time to look further.
Stage 1 breast cancer.
Please know that I’m sharing her story with her permission.
She said… “If we can reach just one person and save their life- it’s all been worth me getting diagnosed with booby cancer”.
Yes. She’s that cool in real life, too.
A few days before talking with my friend, I had another conversation about boobs.
I had an appointment with my hormone doctor. She asked about my most recent mammogram. I'm due soon. It's scheduled for April.
She mentioned that the new 3D mammogram machines are causing a bit of fuss. Apparently, the use of more advanced technology is resulting in lots women being called back for additional images.
It seems that the new, more sophisticated imaging capabilities have created a need for new baselines. This is because doctors are now able to see much more detail in the breast and don't have equivalent previous mammograms for comparison.
My doctor wanted me to be aware that false positives are very common right now. Especially, if you haven’t yet had a 3D mammo… which I have not.
All this talk about breast health, made me acutely aware that I’m terrible at performing actual breast exams. I have been doing daily breast massage for the past six months, but not a true exam.
So, if you’ve been slacking also… let’s make a pact to practice Breast Self- Examinations at least once a month!
I know it would make my friend very happy! As well as, your children, and spouse, and parents… and friends!
Click here for an easy-to-follow guide.
I have no doubt my girl will be a survivor!
Her breast cancer was caught early. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful.
Taking charge of your breast health isn’t hard, but it's something you might overlook until it's too late.
Have regular mammograms (expect that you might be called in for more images).
Do monthly breast self-exams.
Don’t ignore a lump or any change in your breasts.
If you have any information that might be helpful to other women… please share it in the comments below. Your tip or story could make a difference to someone.
Thanks for reading.
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