I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor Who Found My Own Lump
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’m not asking you to buy or wear pink ribbons. Or pink hats or pink tee shirts or pink wristbands. I’m not asking you to post a strange status to your Facebook profile. I’m not asking for donations or for you to hang your bra out the window. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Whether or not you do any of those things, I hope you do something else to make it a little more personal.
You can start by checking your breasts. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, or what age or race you are. Whether you have a family history of cancer or not, make good lifestyle choices or not … you should still be familiar with your own body so you recognize unusual changes and can act upon that knowledge.
There’s been a lot of controversy in recent years about the benefits and potential risks of mammograms, and even over the usefulness of self breast exams. Like many of my fellow breast cancer patients, I discovered my own breast lump. It certainly doesn’t hurt to perform a self breast exam.
You can vow to make any number of lifestyle changes to help prevent cancer of all types. Vow not to smoke, to improve your diet, to get more exercise. Make one change for the better today.
Do it for yourself. Do it for the people who love you. Do it in the true spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take it personally.
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Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.” She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo