This Monday, October 19th will mark the four year anniversary of my breast cancer journey. I have mixed emotions in regards to this milestone. Mainly because October is breast cancer awareness month. For those of us who have received this diagnosis or love someone who has, we are aware of breast cancer the other eleven months of the year.
Everywhere you go, you see a sea of pink. Pink was my least favorite color when I was growing up. My mother was convinced that girl’s should wear pink and boy’s should wear blue. I have one older brother and no sisters. I always wondered why girl’s should have to wear pink. I rebelled and decided to make blue my favorite color. It was the only color that I enjoyed wearing besides black and brown for over twenty years…mainly because when I wore it, people would notice the color of my eyes and pay less attention to my 38DD’s!
Since I am marking the fourth anniversary of my journey, I thought I would share four things that I believe are scarier than breast cancer.
This is part of my 10 Minute Untangled Speeches called: The 4 “Am’s” of Early Detection.
When I hear about Mammograms being the most effective tool for early diagnosis and especially when I see commercials encouraging women to “woman-up” and get them, I don’t see pink, I see red! A thirty second commercial cost, on average $3,000! Who is paying for it? WE ARE in more way’s than one!
Let’s start with a quiz. I am going to ask you a few True or False questions and then provide the answer’s with the unbiased research.
- True or False: Radiation causes cancer. True. Mammograms cause cancer. They use radiation. Since they started being used on a regular basis, breast cancer rates have soared! In fact, having regular mammograms can INCREASE your risk for developing breast cancer by up to 30%! For the most recent, unbiased information, check out this article. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/26/mammograms.aspx
2. True or False: Mammograms are the best tool for early detection of breast cancer. False. There is a better diagnostic tool that can detect possible cancer up to ten years BEFORE it can be felt or seen on a mammogram. That tool is…Thermography. Thermography uses infrared imaging to detect temperature changes in the body. There is NO radiation exposure or compression that could cause larger lumps to break apart and migrate to other parts of your body. It can detect cancerous changes in a person’s body eight to ten years BEFORE any changes can be seen or felt.
3. True or False: Mammograms find ALL breast cancers. False. There are changes in a woman’s breasts that could be breast cancer that are NOT lumps and can NOT be found on a mammogram. My breast cancer presented as an indentation under the nipple on my left breast and just to the right of it was a VERY SMALL mobile lump. It was half the size of a pea and showed up as a TINY SPECK on the mammogram. It turned out to be one of seven lumps that were found on the final pathology report. I had been having regular mammograms from the time I was thirty-seven years old until I was forty-three years old. I ALWAYS NEEDED an ultrasound assist! I had not had a mammogram during the four and a half years prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. For a list of the other symptoms, go to: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/15-cancer-symptoms-women-ignore
4. True or False: More breast cancer’s are found by self-examination. True! The other tool is YOU! YOU are your own BEST, breast advocate. Nobody should know your body better than you do! The gynecologist that I went to for my initial exam after (I found a lump and an indentation that looks like what you would find on an orange) told me that he tells his girls’ that are in their twenties to do their breast self-exams every month. Not because they will find cancer, but so that they will know what is normal for them that way when their breasts start changing due to peri-menopause and menopause they will be able to alert their doctors at the first possible sign that something isn’t right and lead to an earlier diagnosis thus improving their odd’s for long-term survival. For more information, go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153870/
I hope this post has not been too scary for you, but it is time for you to be empowered and stop contributing to the $100 BILLION cancer industry! Join with me in taking a stand AGAINST mammograms!
Enjoy your weekend!