I figure I should have at least one public service announcement for this A to Z blogging challenge so here it is:
Don’t forget to do a monthly self- exam of your breasts for lumps. Johns Hopkins medical center states:
“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
My mother discovered her breast cancer this way. She found the lump near her armpit at the age of 31. She died at 33 as the cancer had already spread. This was back in the mid 1970’s. She never had a mammogram.
I have been getting mammograms since my early thirties. Except for heredity all my risk factors are low. I check myself every month and it is scary. I have dense, cyst filled breasts. Lots of lumps, all the time. A few have sent me running to the doctor. In addition to mammograms and repeat mammograms I have had one or two ultrasounds. The technicians are always supportive, no one has even remotely implied that I am the women who cried wolf.
My biggest fear is that a cancer lump will hide under a cyst lump and remain undetected between mammograms. Or I will feel the lump but dismiss it as another cyst. I like to think I have figured out what a cyst feels like, but here’s the thing: I don’t know what a cancerous lump feels like, as I have never felt one. And I am okay with that.
So stopping reading this blog and go do a self-check, right now, before you forget. Please?