October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while there are huge leaps and bounds to be made to find a cure, breast cancer has the highest mortality rate of any kind of cancer among people aged 15-35. This can, in part, be attributed to a huge deficit in diagnosis for young women. Women over 35 get regular mammograms. Women under 35 must rely on “manual examinations” to check for irregularities. By the time you find a palpable lump, there’s a higher chance that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
A lot of people think that checking their breasts is scary or intimidating. And it was — back when there was a 14-step handout filled with arrows and all kinds of complicated instructions. Which is why the smart people at the American Cancer Society and the College of Gynecologists & Obstetrics developed something much more manageable. It’s called TLC (Touch, Look, Check), and it’s just as gentle and easy as it sounds. The reason TLC is so effective is that most young women still don’t visit their doctors very often. That makes it very hard for doctors to notice any changes in size, texture, shape or other indicators of the presence of disease. Women who practice “breast awareness,” knowing what their breasts normally feel like and noticing any changes, are far more likely to reach out to their doctors and to catch and treat any irregularities more effectively.
Wondering what to do? Educate yourself! Check these three easy-to-read infographics and share them with the important people in your life!
First things first, arm yourself with the facts about breast cancer courtesy of Know Cancer. Breast cancer affects the young and old, regular people and celebrities. Knowing all the facts — from symptoms to geography — can help you take care of yourself.
Breast Cancer is not just a disease that affects older women, and the Edith Sanford Breast Center wants you to know that. Learning the facts is important. That way, if you find an abnormality you won’t hesitate to take action and take care of yourself. But don’t freak out if you do find something! Most lumps end up being benign, and remember: Being proactive about your health is always a good thing!
Okay, now that you’ve been schooled on the facts, you’re going to need to know what to do, so I created this simple poster with TLC basics. The steps are easy. Touch your breasts regularly. Look for any changes in texture, paying attention to things like your hormonal cycle, which will change the feel during the course of a standard month. Check anything suspicious out with your doctor ASAP. Share this + share the love, people!
How are you educating yourself on the health of your body? Let us know in the comments below!