Parenting Tips

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need To Know

october breast cancer awareness
love dust
love dust

October

If you haven’t heard, October isn’t just about Halloween and Trick-or-Treating. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and has been since 1985. It was founded by the American Cancer Society and (what is now) AstraZeneca, who produces several anti-breast cancer medications and treatments. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was started as an effort to promote the effectiveness of regular mammogram screenings as the most effective method of detecting breast cancer.

Pink Ribbon

The first use of the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation passed them out in New York City to participants in a race for breast cancer survivors. The pink ribbon was installed as the now iconic image of breast cancer awareness in 1993 at the installation of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation by the Senior Corporate Vice President of Estée Lauder thus placing a well-known icon out for the world.

self love club
Self Love Club

Did you know…

Did you know, that 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Did you know that 2 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the world in 2018? Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women and is a leading cause of deaths for women worldwide. But did you know that there’s something you can do to stay on top of your odds of developing this form of cancer that kills 40,000 women a year in the U.S.?

Self exams are an easy to do and useful tool for the early detection of unusual lumps and bumps.

Self Exams

Self exams can be done using the hands to feel the breast tissue by moving in circles from the outer edge of the breast towards the nipple. If using this method, remember to examine the breast tissue “tail” as well which goes into the armpit. Feel for any areas that seem different from the rest of the breast, like a ball, lump, thickened band, or a deep, hard area that does not move like the rest of the breast. When in doubt, contact your doctor or their nursing staff.

Knowing and noticing a change in your breast tissue when it happens is why conducting regular self exams is so important. Keeping up on monthly self exams is how you stay on top of breast tissue changes when they happen by being aware of and knowledgeable of what your breast tissue normally feels like.

Remember, self exams are not substitutions for mammograms. Regular mammograms should still be done as desired by your doctor taking into consideration your medical history, your family history, and your personal risk of developing breast cancer.

Self exams are to be used in addition to regular mammogram screenings (or in place of mammogram screenings depending on your age). A regularly conducted self exam may find a tissue change before your next scheduled mammogram.

When

Self exams are easier to remember than you may think. Some women do them at the end of their menstrual cycle, using that occurrence as a monthly reminder.

This is an efficient method of remembering to do a self exam but doesn’t work for everyone. For those with irregular cycles, you can set a reminder in your phone, mark a certain day on your physical calendar, or find a personal way of remembering. Whatever works best for you is what is best for you.

You could use your birthday as a reminder. For instance, I was born on the 14th so every month on the 14th, I could do a self exam.

My personal method is a little more… inappropriate than that. I have a reminder on my phone on the 8th of every month to give myself an exam. Why the 8th? Because if you turn an 8 on it’s side, it looks like boobs. Easy to remember, isn’t it? My period also usually ends a few days before the 8th every month. Two birds, one stone.

hashtag
hashtag

#breastcancerawareness

So this month, let’s light up the internet in pink with the hashtag: #breastcancerawareness or whatever you prefer. This is to drive attention and awareness to the statistics of breast cancer deaths but it can also drive attention to proactive methods of detection that you can do yourself.

Why?

Why take a minute a month to do a self exam? For your family, your kids, your friends, your loved ones, and you.

Why put so much attention into this? Because as a mother, your children need you. What if they lost you to breast cancer (or anything really)?

Why become so familiar with your breast tissue? So that you are increasing the chances of living a long, healthy life.


Disclaimer:

This content is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I am not a licensed medical professional. Always seek the advice of a medical professional for any questions or concerns you may have regarding breast cancer, self exams, and/or any other medical condition.

Sources:


Want to see more of my medical-interest side? Check out the link below for my advice on how to handle your birth plan not working out as expected.

When Your Birth Plan Doesn't Work Out

Or do you want to see more of my brash side? Then the link below is great for showing parents of daycare kids my insight on what life is like working at a daycare.

Confessions from an Ex-Daycare Worker

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october breast cancer awareness

About Me

I'm a mom of 3 boys who loves to share parenting tips (especially for babies), crafts, little eater friendly recipes, and mommy-centric bullet journaling tips and layouts.