Hello My Lovelies!
Mmmmm…it’s October! As Anne of Green Gables would say…I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers :)
I’m sitting here sipping on my homemade pumpkin spice coffee and enjoying the crisp fall air on my porch. October is one of my favorite months for another reason! It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month…which means the color pink takes over! This year I’m very excited to celebrate with two of my friends as their moms have both just completed chemo :)
It did make me pause and think though..how am I preparing and protecting myself from breast cancer? What can I be doing on the preventative side?
This month, I’d love to share some tips with you from BHG360° Bankers Healthcare Group, providing financing solutions to healthcare professionals. To read more about them and what they offer click here.
What should I be doing?
Creating a plan! The NBCF provides a great resource for creating an early detection plan. It takes less than five minutes to complete and gives you a game plan. I like to be prepared, don’t you? I enjoyed this because it breaks it down as to what you should be doing monthly and tells when you should schedule exam appointments. You can also search for clinics in your area.
Perform a breast self-exams at least once a month. Yikes! I definitely haven’t been doing that. To be honest, it kind of intimidates me. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be looking for.
“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” ~ Johns Hopkins Medical Center
How do you do a monthly exam? I needed directions. A quick Google search took me to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and they had a step-by-step guide!
Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.
Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.
When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.
Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.
Clinical Breast exams are an important part of early detection. Most often lumps are discovered by the self-exam, but sometimes professionals are able to locate suspicious areas.
- Women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years.
- Women who are younger than 40 and have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them.
Because breast cancer and cancer run on both sides of my family, I called and scheduled an appointment. Just to be on the safe side!
The Treatment Tips…
So I encourage you to pause and think about “the girls”? When is the last time you felt them up? How are they looking? Is it time for a tune up?
Schedule those appointments Ladies! (& Gents…breast cancer affects 1% of y’all!)
One BC Awareness Raising Lemon