Riddle time everyone! What do the following have in common?
National Pizza Month (sigh, shouldn’t this be every month?)
National Book Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ computers)
Give up? They are all notable issues that are commemorated in the month of October and with the start of the month fresh in our minds, I’m sure you are saying “but wait, aren’t we missing a very important one?” You smart cookie, you. Yes, most notably, October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because we love how you all look in your sexy swimwear, we want to offer you a few preventative measures in honor of the cause.
Body weight, diet, and physical activity have all been linked to breast cancer, so now is the time to take action. Moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk, along with a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, fish, and poultry. So with swimsuit cover-up season right around the corner, if that isn’t reason enough to hop onto the fit bandwagon, then your health should be.
CBE: Clinical Breast Exam
Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years, as part of your regular check up. Once you are in your 40s, kick that time frame up to once a year. These exams are the perfect opportunity to discuss any changes in your breasts, as well as factors in your history which might make you more likely to have breast cancer.
BSE: Breast self-exam
Self-exams are a great way to get to know yourself and your girls. Research has shown that a self-exam does play a role in finding breast cancer. Aim for every month, usually right after your period, and take five minutes to complete the step-by-step exam. But remember, have your BSE technique reviewed by a health professional during your physical exam so that it isn’t reminiscent of that one time at camp with that boy that sweat an abnormal amount.
Ladies, light groping from your boyfriend does not count. Thorough, regular mammograms can help find cancer early on before any symptoms. Breast cancers that are found during screening exams are more likely to be small and still confined to the breast. What is a mammogram you ask? Simply, an x-ray of your breast. A screening mammogram is used to look for breast disease in women while a diagnostic mammogram is used to diagnose breast disease in women who have the symptoms already. But keep in mind, a mammogram cannot prove that an abnormal area is cancer, next steps will need to be taken.
If you notice an increase in pink this October, it is to remind everyone of how important it is to raise awareness for this disease. Preventative measures and regular screenings can nip cancer in the bud, so to speak. Your family, your friends, and most importantly your tatas will thank you.