Early detection directly correlates with survival, so in honor of breast cancer awareness month, I ask that everyone do a self breast exam.
Although self breast exams are controversial because research does not show an increase in survival by women who routinely do breast self-exams, I stand here to say, the cancer I had would have been discovered at a much later stage had I not done a self breast exam. Staging does affect survival, and although I realize there are no guarantees, I feel very fortunate that I found this lump at a fairly early stage and followed up on it. Otherwise, it likely would not have been discovered until I started doing routine mammograms at age 40. Even then, it may not have shown up on mammogram.
As I've mentioned before, mammograms are not always effective for young women. Young women tend to have dense breast tissue that shows up as white on a mammogram. Cancer also shows up as white. My entire mammogram was white because of my dense breast tissue so any cancer that was there could not be seen. The density of my breast tissue may or may not have changed in the next 5 years and this is one of the reasons that mammograms are not recommended routinely until age 40 (or 50 depending on the source). Regardless, in 5-years time my cancer would have most likely been more progressed.
Okay, I digressed, but hopefully emphasized my point, just do a self breast exam........
and on a lighter note, my hair is growing in really thick. I have always had incredibly think hair; too thick in my opinion, and it looks like post-chemo that has not changed. So far it is a bit darker than it was before, but perhaps that is because it hasn't had a chance to get bleached by the sun. I'm not one to take lots of photos of myself, but when they include Dizzy I'm game. We took these this morning.
Dizzy on the deck looking for treats in my hand
Dizzy in the backyard looking for treats in my hand
Dizzy being cute hoping to get more treats
Dizzy showing that he is done taking photos
As you can see in the photos, it is a beautiful October day in Utah. We're off to ride mountain bikes. I hope everyone is enjoying the great weekend. After a self breast exam.