Breast Cancer Awareness: Getting in Tune with Your Own Body

Small tufts of hair swirl and tumble as they leave her head, gently falling to the floor. She stares at herself in the mirror, eyes firm, yet jaded by the exhaustion she faces on a daily basis. She grips the mirror, breathing deeply, finding the strength to continue her fight against cancer and survive.

As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to a close, it is important to remind ourselves to continue healthy practices of self-checkups throughout the remainder of the year and into the next. Approximately one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States.

Of these women who are diagnosed, almost 80% find the abnormality in their breasts themselves. Proactivity in self checkups are essential, because the earlier stage in which the cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the higher are chances of survival. Oftentimes, the breast cancer found in younger women is more aggressive, resulting in a higher mortality rate and a higher risk of metastatic recurrence. Thus, the quicker it is spotted, the better.

Checking your own breasts is quick and painless. It can help you stay in tune with your body, in addition to promoting healthy and open conversations with your doctor. Moreover, promoting self responsibility in this area may encourage you to feel increasingly comfortable with checking your health in other ways, such as feeling more comfortable about visiting your gynecologist.

Promoting positive steps towards long lasting health in our community is essential to building up and maintaining our communities. Encouraging each other and holding each other accountable for self care is extremely important for us, as women, to make sure that we remember to give to ourselves–not just the communities we foster every day.

Please click here to find out more about how to perform a self-examination: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam

Yemaya Chapter, Lehigh University

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