October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Last month, I started getting messages saying that it was time to schedule My mammogram. I turned 41 over the summer. I haven’t had a mammogram before, just the thought of it made Me frown My face up. Like many women I assume, I told Myself that I’m just fine and there’s no need to put Myself through what I’ve heard is a painful experience.


I went in to My gyno earlier this month, her assistant asked if I wanted to schedule a mammogram, I immediately said no. The assistant told Me that she had recently went through her first, she also explained to Me how important it was to have them checked regularly. I acquiesced and scheduled My appointment for later this month.


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had such an experience when confronted with the idea of getting our breast checked for cancer. It’s not easy to prepare your mind for the idea that the tests may come back unfavorably. The reality is, as a woman over the age of 40, mammograms are one of the most important tests. Early detection can change everything is the case of a positive diagnosis.

I’ve had My mammogram now and surprisingly; it wasn’t as painful as I expected. I also had a tech that looked like Me and related to My anxiety. My results came back with positive results and My fears are allayed for now.


According to BreastCancer.org, “In 2022, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”


It seems that Black and other minority women have a higher chance of testing positive. The site also states, “In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women than white women. Overall, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower. Ashkenazi Jewish women have a higher risk of breast cancer because of a higher rate of BRCA mutations.”


There are self-exam instructions available online at https://www.breastcancer.org/screening-testing/breast-self-exam-bse with photos available for those who are visual. You can start self-exams at home at any age.


If you’re 40 or over and haven’t scheduled your mammogram, please do so today. If your looking for Breast Cancer resources, you can find them at

https://www.breastcancer.org/

https://www.komen.org/support-resources/tools

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/breastcancerawareness/index.htm

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