Hii my lovelies,

As promised, here is my blog on Breast Cancer Awareness. October being a #BreastCancerAwareness month, let’s make sure to keep this dreadful disease in check!

In 2016, one of my very close friends got diagnosed with breast Cancer. Something which prevented the Cancer to spread further was her awareness and pro-activeness. Not that she used to do the self check every time, but then you know I always talk about gut instinct! One day while getting ready for the office, she felt like examining herself in the mirror, and a little lump caught her attention. Here you go! Further examination led to the discovery of this dreadful disease. 

Don’t hide, don’t keep mum, and please don’t make fun. Breasts are NOT always sex symbols.

Many of the symptoms of breast cancer are invisible and not noticeable without a professional screening like a mammogram or ultrasound.

Hey dudes! This is for you! Breast Cancer is not only limited to women, it touches the life of men too (Reference: American Cancer Society)! Chest size in men has nothing to do with breast cancer risk. All men have breast tissue that can become cancerous. Did you just read that??

A man has a 1 in 1000 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime

However, if you are proactive and check yourself often, you might save yourself from something terrible happening! Now, before you start checking, let’s see what are we looking for! Changes to look for include:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area. 
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Dimpling or puckering in the skin of the breast.
  • Discharge (fluid) from the nipple.
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or Areola (the dark area of skin at the center of the breast).

Couple of days ago, I went through an interview of Shaney jo Darden (Founder of Keep A Breast) with Kris Carr, a wellness Advocate, and in the interviews she shared few fun ways to find out if something is wrong. (Here is the link of you are interested).

  • Mirror work:– Stand in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides, and then on your hips. 
  • Give a massage:- Next, keep looking in the mirror and put one hand behind your head. Now, place three fingers to your breast and check for anything that strikes you as weird or not your “normal”.

  • In the shower: Using your three fingers together, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot.

  • Your Pits: Move your entire breast up and down and get your hands into the armpit area, finishing inside your armpit. Leave no breast area unchecked! Spend extra time in your pits where your lymphatic system lives and where many breast cancers develop—they may need extra circle massage i.e Extra check.
  •  Lying Down:- Do this random check when you go to bed. When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the tip of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. 
  •  Squeeze: Lastly, squeeze each nipple. If there is any discharge or pain, see a doctor right away. (Left is the picture of my niece from the fundraising event organized by CIBC Bank titled “CIBC Run for Cure”. If they can be aware, why can’t you??)

Please make sure you do the above activity once in six months, or a quarter (Men included!). Here is a link to wonderful pdf you can download from National Breast Cancer Organization which can be a handful guide and resource! 

Before I end, please remember that most breast lumps turn out to be benign (not cancer). There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition or an injury. Therefore, don’t panic. BUT please do not hesitate to call your doctor! 

Don’t hide, don’t keep mum, and please don’t make fun.  Breasts are not always sex symbols, they are more than that. They sometimes tell us a story, story of survival, story of a painful journey and the winning marks.  Please share this blog among your loved once, and keep them safe. Cancer does not happen to strange people, it happens to normal people like us, and when it hits, it hits hard. Therefore, let’s play safe.

And between all this, remember we are together, in this!!

Health and healing always,

Ankita

 

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