Happy October! It’s the season of warm cardigans and warmer soups, pumpkin farms, spooky goodness, and, of course, time to take care of your girls. This National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’ll be posting daily with accessible science tidbits, practical advice, personal stories, and a whole host of other topics all about breasts and breast cancer.
I’ll also be having some giveaways, so be sure to follow and check for goodies that are up for grabs, including signed copies of Talking to My Tatas, Amazon Gift Cards, and much, much more!
To kick off NABCAM, I have a question? Have you scheduled your mammography screening? If not, do it! Like, call and get it on the calendar ASAP. It might just save your life.
Don’t believe me? According to a report published by Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, mammography accurately identifies about 87 percent of women have breast cancer in the United States. Do false positives occur? Yup. But, as a breast cancer researcher and survivor, I think the benefits far outweigh the risks. Check out the numbers and decide for yourself.
Katie Couric recently shared her personal breast cancer story, and man did it take me back to that fateful day—April 19, 2018—when I found out that I had breast cancer. I encourage you to read Katie’s story. It’s super compelling. Like Katie, my cancer was first detected as a suspicious lesion on a routine mammogram. It was such a terrifying and surreal experience that had my mind reeling with worst case scenarios: Would I survive? Would chemo or other treatments steal my strength and wreck my body permanently? How did I tell my family, friends, my children that I had this disease?
When all was said and done, I was one of the lucky ones. Screening caught my cancer early and probably saved my life. I was diagnosed with Stage 1b disease—meaning some cancer cells had spread to at least one lymph node out of seven biopsied. That means my prognosis was pretty damned promising. Had I skipped the appointment, who knows how much my cancer would have grown and progressed?
So please listen to me and listen to Katie. “Please get your annual mammogram. I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer. But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening.”
Need help getting screened? Visit the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) for help!