Boobs. Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, they’re a part of life. Why not take care of them?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so it’s time for the world to be bombarded by breast puns. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to awareness months or causes that force me to wear the color pink for 31 straight days. But this October I’ve decided that frankly, I do give a damn.
I have changed my apathetic ways mostly because of my mother’s recent battle with breast cancer. After seeing her struggle through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, I have decided that I need to take my health into my own hands. Even though I’m young, I know I do not want to have to go through all that she has endured, so I did what any child of the millennial age would do: I Googled what to do to prevent cancer.
I discovered that the most common cancer diagnosed in women is breast cancer, as it affects one out of every eight women worldwide. And it may come as a surprise to some to know that breast cancer doesn’t just affect women. Men can get it too and as unlikely as it is, it’s possible. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it affects over 2,000 men despite its rarity and that number has grown over the past 40 years.
Overwhelmingly, the first topic that I discovered after statistics was the notion of educating young women on breast health. It is important that from a young age, we understand our bodies and what is “normal.” Knowing what feels normal on your body and what feels abnormal can help you communicate with your doctor that something is amiss. If you don’t know what’s normal for you, how can you expect to tell your doctor if something is wrong? Get into the habit of giving yourself regular breast exams now, so that you can continue that habit later on when it really counts.
We also need to know what it means to have good habits when it comes to maintaining lifelong breast health. As young women, we need to understand our risk factors when it comes to breast cancer or other kinds of cancer in order to better prepare ourselves for what is to come later on in life.
Family history is among the first questions doctors will ask you when determining your risk factor for breast cancer. Some cases of breast cancer can be hereditary. For example, a mutation of the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes are common hereditary causes of breast cancer. Unfortunately, you can’t fight genetics, but you can battle breast cancer by staying on top of some of the other risk factors involved with getting breast cancer.
Take control over your diet and exercise habits while you’re young, so that you can effectively maintain those habits throughout your life. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and limiting your processed food intake can go a long way to not only getting you a fit figure, but also helping you prevent cancer as well.
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are or what gender with which you identify, it’s never too soon to start taking your health seriously. Whether it’s trying to prevent becoming diagnosed with cancer or you just want to be able to run a mile without keeling over, take your health in your own hands.
This October, reflect about the choices you make when it comes to your health and sport some pink for solidarity to those fighting to live another day.
Featured photo courtesy of: gymtopia.org