Sunday, October 3, 2010
Happy October! It's my birthday month ... helloooooo 35 ... and also it's National Breast Cancer Awareness month here in Australia. There's pink everywhere - banners have gone up, and magazines have started running their special BC editions.
So, I thought, what a perfect time to draw some attention specifically to breast cancer in younger women. Like I was! (Well, I like to think I still am ...)
Only 6% of breast cancer cases are in women under 40, but our cancer tends to be more aggressive and faster-growing ... and as a result, women between 15 - 50 years old are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other cancer. It's crucial to detect it early, and get appropriate treatment.
There are some issues related to diagnosis, though. Because younger women have denser breast tissue, it can be more difficult to detect tumours via mammogram. So breast self-exams are really important! Also, I've met too many young women who weren't diagnosed properly the first time around. Even I wasn't - my diagnosis only came about via a 2nd opinion. Statistically, us young ones are in the minority - so doctors aren't as ready to send us off for scans and biopsies, because lumps in our breasts aren't likely to be anything serious. Which is dangerous. Take control of your own health and if you feel like something's wrong - be annoyingly persistant.
I wrote a little about my own story on a page - http://www.easypeasyorganic.com/p/big-c.html - with some links to information about breast cancer in younger women and also a couple of articles I've been a part of. It's not been an easy road, for sure - and maybe I wasn't even aware of that till I started writing the page above. I still feel all sorts of different things about breast cancer, some of which I hardly understand at all.
But anyway, it's Breast Cancer Awareness month - so here's a little checklist for you:
1. Check your breasts, or check your partner's (if you're not the breast-y one)
2. Donate to a breast cancer charity - be it for research or support, they all need our money
3. Give lots and lots of cuddles, all month long. And tell all your friends and family how much you love them.
4. Try cutting out some of the more common toxins in your life - like buying more organic produce or using vinegar to clean instead of synthetic chemicals or planting a garden.
5. Get out there and do some exercise! Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer there is!
If you have some ideas, or want to share a story or link - please post it in the comments section ... we'd all love to hear about it.