I know, every single week seems to be an “awareness of something” week. But I think breast cancer awareness month is one that we as women should be especially mindful of.
Worldwide, Breast cancer is the most widespread incarnation of this horrible condition, accounting for 25% of all cases. Survival rates in the western world are good at about 80-90%, but it is nevertheless statistically one of the biggest worries for our health that exists.
Causes and speculation about other possible causes are vast and various, but what is indisputable is the fact that certain lifestyle choices can skew the odds in or out of our individual favour.
Cutting down or giving up alcohol, not being obese and eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and physical exercise are all things we do have a choice over. Unlike causes such as genetics which we are obviously born to.
We are also faced with other more complex decisions such as whether to accept the increased risk that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) brings, in return for a known better quality of life today.
In her interview Tracy clearly links her life choice of being on the Pill for over two decades with her diagnosis. Is there enough warning from our interface with the NHS which most of us receive predominantly through our GP’s. I guess like many things it comes down to the diligence of your particular Doctor, and maybe whether she’s a she and not a he, although I’m certain an empathetic man can do as good a job as a less interested woman.
My only brush with breast cancer came when I was in my early 30’s when I found a lump. My GP confirmed that it was something to get looked at, but after a surgery at Basildon Hospital I was relieved to get an “non malignant” all clear.
My biggest moan at the time and for sometime after that surgery was the ugly scar that remained on my right breast, “ruining” any low cut look that I was going for. But just like my stretch marks and other life wounds, I now wear my marks with pride and in support of other women who aren’t as lucky as I was.
I found out recently that I’m not “due” a mammogram on the NHS until I’m 50. Is that right? Too late?
I will take my test when it’s offered to me, but in the meantime I’m going to become a regular self tester. It’s a simple thing to do, it’s how Tracy found the change in the “feel” of her body, which lead to an early diagnosis.
I think that like many things you have to make your own decisions when it comes to your body, and your own life. Being informed is part of being aware, which is why I so thoroughly support this months Cancer Awareness cause. So now you’ve read the article. Please watch my interview with Tracy, it’s a real insight into a journey from discovery to all clear. When you’ve watched it perhaps it’s time to start the habit of regular self-examination, and passing on your newfound awareness.
Share the love, spread awareness