But back to your boobs and how much I care about them. In a totally non-creepy way, of course. :) You did know that you should check your bewbs once a month, right? And not while on your period, but a week after? Just, while you're in the shower soaping up, give them a few swirls and squeezes. And you did know that if found early 98% of you will survive? The caveat, of course, is that you are checking. [ETA]: in case it's not clear: EARLY DETECTION means a 98% survival rate. I'm not in any way suggesting that if you routinely handle your breasts you'll live, and if you don't, you'll die. I would hope that was clear.
Are you like me and don't put yourself first when it comes to health care? Everyone else comes first, right? Kids, your partner, animals... But who is going to take care of them if you're not there to do it? Right. Check your boobs, talk to a doctor if you find something weird. Because if you leave it to chance, or dismiss anything odd, your chances of living - living - drop dramatically.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of DEATH in US women. (Lung cancer is first. STOP SMOKING.) It's the most common cancer for women, however. Did you know that insurance will pay for mammograms if you're 35 and older? And if you don't have health insurance, call your county's health department. Most of them in the US provide free mammograms. Did you know that? FREE. They'll usually give you a voucher that you take to a hospital near you, so you can get properly examined. So really, there's no excuse, is there? Also, the American Cancer Society has lists of providers for low income of low-coverage women. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 for a location in the US nearest you. An act was passed in the US that enables Medicare/Medicaid to help front the cost of breast cancer screening. The CDC chips in, as well. Call 1-800-CDC INFO or go online for local information.
Don't think your age protects you, or that no one in your family having breast cancer leaves you exempt. We're still not sure what causes breast cancer, definitively. Genetics, environment, both are factors. And Africa-Americans... you are - unfortunately - most likely to die from breast cancer that is NOT DETECTED EARLY. Are you seeing a trend? Grab yer bewbs, in other words, and check them out.
Guys, at my last 3-Day I met a girl that had to drop out of her Freshman year in college because she had breast cancer and needed chemo. 19 years old. No one in her family had ever had any form of cancer. My beloved s-mom's BFF died of breast cancer two years ago, and I brought her name with me to the 3-Day in 2006. She kept ignoring the lumps in her breasts. It's just so easy to find out, y'all, and I really REALLY want everyone to be healthy, no matter how tangentially we know each other.
That's why I walk over 70 miles every week to strengthen my body so that in one weekend, in under 18 hours, actually, I can walk through my city as a testament to women and men everywhere that I CARE. That I know how important it is for we women (and you guys out there, too!) to pull together and lift each other up, to remind each other to take care of ourselves. SO GO IN THE BATHROOM AND CHECK YOUR BOOBS FOR ME, HUH? (Hey, some of you, I'll do it for ya. *G*)
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day helps pay the medical costs of low-insurance/no-insurance women needing treatment. It donates a portion for research, but mostly the 3-Day is IMMEDIATE CARE. Every single penny goes to someone in need, nothing to administrative costs, NOTHING. If you can spare any amount of money, please consider making a donation to my team. Either one of us, it doesn't matter - the money ends up in the right hands. To those of you that have generously donated, I can't thank you enough. You need to know that you have quite possibly saved a woman's life. You've given her kids and/or loved ones more time with her. Thank you. I'd kiss you square on the mouth, if I could.
Please feel free to link to this post and share it with anyone that could benefit from the information and phone numbers given. <3