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This Halloween, Be Sure to Check Your Pumpkins

Breast Cancer is most treatable when detected early.

An Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

By Emily Balser – Public relations, Burnett & Williams P.C.

October is the start of my favorite season, my birthday month, and most importantly Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.” In the U. S., for every 8 women 1 will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

In 2013, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She found out during her annual mammogram. We are so grateful that her annual mammogram allowed her to find the breast cancer at an early stage, which is when it is most treatable. It was my freshman year of college and I was going through a lot of changes and transitions. The unfamiliar news made my body go numb. I didn’t know what to think or how to react. We have never had an immediate family member or extended family diagnosed with breast cancer. For months, my mom went through radiation treatments and we were all pleasantly surprised and relieved to find out that in the end, she was officially cancer free.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

This year my family celebrates my mom – 5 years cancer free. My mom’s cancer not only brought my family closer together and cherish every moment we have with each other, but it showed me that she is the strongest person that I know.

 

Breast Self-Awareness from Komen.org

1. Know your risk

  • Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer

2. Get screened

  • Talk with a doctor about which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
  • Sign up for a screening reminder here

3. Know what is normal for you

  • See a doctor if you notice any breast changes

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Limit menopausal hormone use
  • Breastfeed, if you can