Cancer first touched my life when I was 13, my aunt, who was like a second mother to me, got lymphoma at the age of 39. The tumors had wrapped around her esophagus and her lungs. Thankfully after chemo she was given a clean bill of health from the disease. Four years later as a junior in high-school, I was alerted that she, now 43, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
About eight years ago, my maternal grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I am happy to report that both my aunt and my grandfather survived their respective bouts with cancer and are healthy and happy today.
My aunt’s experience taught me to be more vigilant with breast exams and regular check-ups. Five years ago I went in for my annual and they found some “abnormal” lumps on my left breast. After numerous exams with different doctors, ultrasounds, and mammograms (OUCH) they turned out to be just lumps. I hope to always be that lucky.
Medical professionals have stated that mammograms are the best method to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women, accounting for more than 1 in 4 cancers.
The greatest risk factor for developing breast cancer is gender (female) and the second is age. If you are age 40 years or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram every one to two years. Comparatively, age vs. risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer: Age 30-39 – 0.43 percent (1 in 233); age 40- 49 – 1.44 percent (1 in 69); age 50-59 – 2.63 percent (1 in 38): age 60-69 – 3.65 percent (1 in 27)
Posted by: rebeccca
Becca is “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” and contributed to Team OmniMount Goes Pink fundraising efforts by sponsoring teammate, Katie Short.