Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Part 2

As a continuation of my previous post on the month of October, I would like to write a little about Breast Cancer Awareness (sorry, I'm late). This month is especially important for me because about 2 years ago, my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer. Y'all, when I first found out, my world came crashing down. It's still hard for me to go back and think about that time because it was the most difficult time of my life. I seriously felt like I was reading a book by Nicholas Sparks. I just kept reminding myself, "with every difficulty, there is relief" (Quran 94: 5-6)

In this post I will go over a few important facts that all women should remember!
  • ALL women are recommended to have a mammogram after the age of 50
  • If you have a 1st degree relative with breast cancer, you are at risk (2-3 times) of developing breast cancer as well.  
  • When 2 or more 1st degree relatives have breast cancer, the risk may be 5-6 times higher
  • Early menarche (first period), late menopause or late first pregnancy increases risk as well. 
  • The use of oral contraceptive pills increases slightly increases your risk also
  • If a family member is diagnosed with cancer, you need to get a mammogram 10 years prior from the age that they were diagnosed (if your mother was diagnosed at 53 then you should get your first mammogram at 43)
  • Genetics plays a part in breast cancer and mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 and are responsible for 5% of all breast cancers (Angelina Jolie chose to go through a double mastectomy due to a mutation in one of these genes)
  • Do routine breast self-exams (BSE)
  • If you notice any irregularities (e.g. a lump), contact your health care provider immediately

We get so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves or ignore ourselves. The diagram above is a great example and a reminder, not just to prevent cancer, but perhaps other illness as well. 
I found this great website that helps explain what breast cancer is, the 4 stages, types, treatments, etc.  Statistics show that there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors (my mother included) in the United States. I think it's important to not only educate yourself but others around you as well!

{Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure October 2012}

I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure three weeks before my wedding last year in honor of my mother and I'm looking forward to contributing this great cause for as long as I live. 

And now, I end this post with a picture of my rock, who has been there for me through the tough time I experienced two years ago.

{Hubs being festive at his previous rotation working with a breast surgeon}

Happy Wednesday :)


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