How to Save Your Life in 5 Minutes a Month. Be Breast Cancer Awareness

I lay staring at the ceiling. A thousands thoughts swirling through my mind. That feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. The big unanswered question “what if?” never quite forming itself into a solid fear. It was too horrific to contemplate.

Cancer is a scary word. The words “breast cancer” bring fear into our hearts, nausea to our stomach and tears springing to our eyes just at the mention of the word.

How to Save Your Life in 5 Minutes a Month. Be Breast Cancer Aware

Breast cancer can strike women down in their prime, destroying families and leaving young children and husbands bereft of their mother and wife.

My Breast Cancer Scare

For me my worries started with painful breasts. Every time the children elbowed me (they do that a lot as they clamber over me), I’d smart. I’d never had painful breasts before.

Google told me that breast cancer didn’t generally start with pain.

I let it go for a bit.

But the doubt continued. The pain continued and the tissue felt different to me, sort of thicker and more lumpy. Not “a lump” lumpy but lumpy in general.

I tried to put it behind me. Surely it was just normal, just hormonal changes that happen as you get older?

But that nagging doubt whispered. It reminded me of all the people who have slight changes which they ignore and put down to “one of those things”.

Then by the time they finally go to the doctor, the disease has progressed so far. Too far.

It’s too late.

Get Your Breast Cancer Worry Checked Out

That is the sad reality of breast cancer. Breast cancer is in fact, increasingly treatable. The statistic show that survival rates are getting better and better. As long as it’s picked up early.

But how do you know in those early stages?

You don’t.

And that’s why I took myself off to the doctor to get myself checked out, even though my symptoms didn’t scream “breast cancer”.

Once your symptoms scream “breast cancer”, things are not looking good for you.

Was it easy going to the doctor? No, of course not. It’s much easier to get on with life and hope everything is OK. It’s much easier not to take the time out of your life to spend hours going to various appointments. It’s much easier to pretend that that nagging doubt doesn’t exist.

Much easier in the short term.

Support Breast Cancer Awareness.

We are all “aware” of breast cancer so why are there so many awareness campaigns? For exactly this reason.

If you pick up breast cancer early, you stand a much much much better chance of survival.

So what does that mean for you?

Don’t worry it’s easy.

  1. Regularly examine your own breasts and arm pits.
  2. If you notice any changes or have any worrying doubts, get yourself to your doctor. It is MUCH better to go and be told that everything is fine than to wait and realise it’s not.

Bonus Breast Cancer Awareness Points

If you want to do more, you can help remind other people, your family and friends, your sisters and mother, your daughters and aunts, that they also need to check themselves regularly.

For added bonus points you can give to a cancer charity. There are lots of amazing cancer charities. My favourite is Cancer Research UK who fund great research into all cancers. (Their work benefits everyone, not just people in the UK. They publish regular papers about cancer treatments.)

Get More Breast Cancer Information

Learn about breast cancer here.

How to examine yourself.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer (also includes how to check yourself).

Donate to Cancer Research UK

Breast cancer cards (proceeds go to Breast Cancer Haven.)

Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Living a healthy life style can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Drink less alcohol and breastfeeding can both reduce your risk of getting breast cancer.

My Breast Cancer Scare Story

I took myself to the family doctor who referred me to a specialist. When they examined me and heard my story, they were not too worried. But they didn’t dismiss me and tell me it was all in my head either.

See? They can’t tell either without doing the proper tests.

They sent me for a mammogram which included an x-ray and an echo cardiogram of my breasts (you know, the jelly thing they do when you’re pregnant.)

Luckily they found that I had “fibrous tissue”. Yep, getting old after all. But I’d much rather have signs of ageing than breast cancer. I still have painful breasts (although less now) but it feels as if a weight has been lifted from me.

I am lucky and grateful. I am grateful that I already examined my breasts so I knew they felt different.

Do this for your loved ones.

It’s so simple. Please examine yourself regularly and if you have doubts, go check them out. It is better to spend an hour of anguish lying on a couch thinking “what if” than to have someone telling you you have advanced cancer. If the “what if” turns out to be bad news, you’ll have a much better chance of beating breast cancer if it’s picked up early.

How to Save Your Life in 5 Minutes a Month. Be Breast Cancer Aware