Oh wow. This week is awful. The news out of Las Vegas is beyond tragic. I suspect it will only get worse as we learn more.
But I can’t talk about it. I’m not ready, and that’s ok.
Here’s what I can talk about instead: breast tissue.
It’s October, and everything is about to go pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That means we all get our annual reminder to be aware of our own breast tissue and all the ways we can take care of it.
So, here’s the deal: If you have breast tissue (and you probably do, unless you've had it surgically removed), you are at risk for breast cancer. Each person’s risk factors will vary for a number of reasons. You can figure out your risk by checking this handy publication from the American Cancer Society.
Since most of us have some risk of cancer, we should all take the time to get to know our breast tissue. Look at it closely. Run your hands over it, palpate it with your fingertips, learn the patterns of what lies underneath your skin.
If you know how it usually feels, you’ll know if there’s a change. If there’s a change, you can tell your doctor and work together to determine the next steps.
You can also schedule a mammogram if both you and your doctor think you should get one. Now, it’s October, and getting a mammogram during the month that everyone is thinking, “D’oh! Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I bet I need a mammogram. I’ll schedule that now,” is a daunting task. But call and get one on the calendar for November, when things will be less busy.
Yes, mammograms suck. They’re annoying. But they’re quick. If you have reasons to avoid procedures like this, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
That’s it! It really is that simple: Remember your breast tissue, take care of it, and take care of yourself.