This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bring Your Brave campaign for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the past it hasn’t really affected me that much, but this year I had a different awareness. I knew my maternal Grandma had breast cancer in her late 30’s but that was a long time ago. Still, it’s noted in my medical records.
Due to our family history, my doctor recommended a mammogram yearly starting when I turned 40. I complied but this year I thought maybe I’d opt out and just have one every other year. Then my mother at age 58 was also diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I changed my mind. I decided I better not take a chance of missing early detection.
A mammogram may seem like it’s no big deal and yet you do have to have the courage to make that appointment and get it done. It’s easier not to but I’m glad I did. The following week I received a call from the breast center urging me to schedule a follow up appointment for a re-scan and ultrasound of a “13 mm asymmetric density”.
Well, that sounded serious. I took a day off of work and scheduled my morning with appointments. It was determined to be “overlapping normal breast tissue”. In the meantime, waiting to find out the results was concerning. I was relieved to hear all was well. I won’t miss my annual mammograms because of my family history.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and 11% of all cases of breast cancer in the United States affect women under the age of 45. Many young women do not realize their risk when in fact they face a unique threat. More likely hereditary and often diagnosed at a later stage, breast cancer in young women tends to be more aggressive and difficult to treat. Every woman can benefit from learning the risk factors for breast cancer but women under 45 might have a higher risk if you have these risk factors.
The CDC encourages women to take three important steps to understand their breast cancer risk:
- Know how your breasts normally look and feel and talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
- Talk to your relatives about your family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Use CDC’s worksheet as a guide for your conversation. https://www.knowbrca.org/downloads/FCHWorksheet.pdf
- Talk to your doctor about your risk.
Bring Your Brave was launched in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is its first breast cancer campaign specific to young women. Bring Your Brave aims to inspire young women to learn their risk for breast cancer, talk with their health care provider about their risk, and live a breast healthy lifestyle. The campaign tells real stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. These stories about prevention, exploring personal and family history, risk, and talking with health care providers bring to life the idea that young women can be personally affected by breast cancer.
Share your own story by posting on social media using the hashtag #BraveBecause.