So here are the reasons I have for you to do your self-exam today. Also use these as reasons to schedule your mammogram, or to follow up on one that showed something unusual 6 months ago:
- On the morning my breast surgeon did my bilateral mastectomy, she had already performed a mastectomy on a 20-year old. Breast cancer affects young people, too! Yes, I have a defect in my BRCA-1 gene, but only 5% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a defect in their BRCA 1 or 2 genes. I have met quite a few women in their 20s and 30s who were diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Do it to get familiar with yourself. Do it monthly to check for changes.
- Do not be too intimidated by what you might find to even do your exam. Yes, I'm going to say this, breast cancer is NOT scarier than life is good. Use me as an example - yes, was afraid to be bald, to do chemo, to look at my scars - but I'm no wizard, angel, knight or magician and I have made it through quite happily so far!
- You should have seen the adorable survivors on the walk this weekend - glowing, and very spunky with their short haircuts!