since my sister was first diagnosed with breast cancer, i've been very aware of personal breast health. believe it or not, it wasn't until i started selling avon (a company that donates significant sums of money to breast cancer research and strongly champions breast cancer awareness) that i realized how important it is to TALK about it. i'm amazed by the number of women i know who do not perform regular self-exams! especially women who practice NFP! if you chart (through CLC booklets), you are reminded on "day 6" of every cycle to perform this potentially life-saving exam. hellooo? c'mon ladies. you know your breasts better than anyone else.
if you find any lumps, thickenings, or changes, tell your doctor right away. . .breast cancer may be successfully treated if you find it early. by the grace of God, early detection has given my sister a second chance at life.
the american cancer society guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer:
if you are 20-39, have a clinical breast exam by your health care provider at least every three years and do a breast self-exam each month.
if you are are 40 and over, have a mammogram as well as a clinical breast exam by your health care provider every year and do a breast self-exam each month.
you can ask your doctor to teach you the proper way to do a thorough breast self-exam.
if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, discuss mammography screening guidelines and scheduling with your doctor.
for more information about breast cancer, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit their website www.cancer.org.