October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Let’s talk boobs. There should be no shame in talking about mammograms and self checks. I went in for my mammogram, did you?
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is important to know that only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer, but they should NEVER be ignored. This disease is not just for women, each year over 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Because of a self check I was aware that I had a few lumps in my breasts. I should note that I have had them in the past and they were just cysts and I had nothing to worry about. Losing a grandmother to breast cancer it definitely leaves a fear in the back of my mind: will I too get breast cancer?
At my recent visit I underwent a mammogram which turned up several lumps. I immediately was sent in for an ultrasound which showed many more lumps. Because I have had this before I knew what to look for on the ultra sound machine. I call them black holes. They were everywhere…I was panicked.
The doctor came in and gave me a few options, two of the lumps which she called masses, were larger than the others and suggested that we biopsy just one (the biggest one.) Although she didn’t feel that they were cancerous we still needed to be precautious.
I waited 3 days for the results, for the most part I wasn’t worried. Every now and then my mind would wonder – what if. My doctor called to tell me everything was good and they were just cysts.
For now I will go in every 6 months to be rechecked and have the lumps measured to make sure they don’t change shape or size.
Did you know that if breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.
We encourage you to make an appointment today to get yourself a mammogram. If you don’t have insurance there are medical facilities across the country that provide free mammograms through the National Mammography Program. You can find a clinic near you here.
Here’s to good health!