Monday, October 09, 2006

Pay attention girl: Its National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a wonderful month of Fall. You have Oktober fests, Fall Fests, Harvest Moon, etc.

But one thing that October has become known for is National Breast Cancer Awareness. You'll be seeing a lot of pink this month. Pink ribbons, pink jewlery, pink clothings, pink, pink. (I hope no one though sees one of those dreadful pink slips that means you have been let go. And no I don't mean Pink the singer, although she is interesting, but she is not one of the singers who have had breast cancer.)

My family does not have a history of breast cancer, it is not a factor for my health, no its alzhimers, addictions, and depression. But that doesn't mean I don't want to not say anything at all. No I have know young and old alike who have died from cancer. I was a Chaplain for many of them who died before these days of awareness, good testings, and treatments. Alot of them died unnecessarially. The Doctor ignored sending them for mammograms. It was a shame, because after all your body and especially your breasts and other parts of your beautiful body were not to be seen or touched and were to be ashamed of. Also there was the fear your husband or partner would no longer want you for those mutilated breasts. Sad. My mom's best friend, my "Aunt Lucy", was very young when they found her cancer, and removed both breasts. She was the first survivor I knew. A wonderful, joyful spirited woman. I loved her so. She survived a long time after that, adopted and raised her children. Her husband loved her very deeply and stayed married to her until she died a couple of years ago, but not of cancer.

I was 23 yrs old, in Seminary in Louisville, KY far away from my regular GYN and family. I was playing in the church softball league that summer. I had came home after playing to take a bath. As I washed my body I felt something in my right breast. Istopped surprised. I dropped my wash clothe and ran my hand over my breast again. There it was a lump. Oh my God. I finished my bath and quickly phoned my mom. My mom the nurse started crying. Our first thought of course was, it's cancer. I found a Doctor to go see in Louisville, and couldn't get in until 2 weeks later. When I went to the Doctor he yelled at me for not coming into see him sooner. Great first meeting for a terrified young lady. After defending myself, he checked me out. He decided to send me to a surgeon. Went to the surgeon who pronounced we should wait and see. Wait and see, right, more terror. I called my mom again, after discussing things with the Doc she worked for, they decided I should come down there to see a Doc. So off I go back to FLA to see another Surgeon I didn't know in a hospital I hadn't been too. He decided to immediately so surgery to take it out. And so I was in the hospital to have surgery. Thank God it was just a fibroid tumor, fatty tumor if you will. But since that point I have had regular mammograms, check myself regularly, and the GYN I had checked me carefully. So far just little fatty tumors, but believe me I will never forget that terror and will always check me out. My failure of recent is that since our move here, I have not found a GYN, nor have I had a recent mammogram. Hopefully I will take this time to go see the primary Doc so I can get a referral to a GYN that my insurance will pay for, and get a mammogram.

Friends, please don't wait if you have found a lump go now do not pass go, go and get it checked out, Save your life. And men if you don't think you can get breast cancer think again, you can. My dear friend from Wadley, Mr. Hall died of breast cancer.

There are Komen Races for the Cure® perhaps near you.

You can find lots of information on the web from really good sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, NYTimes, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc and Breast Both CNN and CBS are showing specials about Breast Cancer.

you can support the search for cure or free mammograms on by just a click at Or even buy a Barbie that the donations go toward a cure.

But for God's sake go get yourself seen and get the mammogram, no matter what you have heard.

Here are the stats for Breast Cancer from the government :
· The National Cancer Institute estimates that, based on current rates, 13.2 percent of women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives.
· Because rates of breast cancer increase with age, estimates of risk at specific ages are more meaningful than estimates of lifetime risk.
· An estimated risk represents the average risk for all women in the United States as a group. This estimate does not indicate the risk for an individual woman because of individual differences in age,
family history, reproductive history, race/ethnicity, and other factors.
· Estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer has gone up gradually over the past several decades. This year it declined slightly.
A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is:
· from age 30 through age 39 . . . . . . 0.44 percent (often expressed as “1 in 229”)
· from age 40 through age 49 . . . . . . 1.46 percent (often expressed as “1 in 68”)
· from age 50 through age 59 . . . . . . 2.73 percent (often expressed as “1 in 37”)
· from age 60 through age 69 . . . . . . 3.82 percent (often expressed as “1 in 26”)

And now that you know the stats, go get that checkup and mammogram NOW!


Julia Schopick said...

For an interesting twist on the topic of the "pinking" of breast cancer awareness, please see the link on my website,, to the article "Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch" by Barbara Ehrenreich. (You can access the article by going to the left side of my site, under “articles of importance.”)

This article will give you a different perspective on the topic! It is a classic.

Julia Schopick

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