As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our family and our Company have always been a strong supporter of helping women recognize the importance of screening for early detection. We have hosted many fundraising events, created the “Do It for the Girls’ Campaign and contributed to a plethora of breast cancer foundations including the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
On a personal level to all of my female friends, I know how much we all HATE having a mammogram. It’s an understatement to say the test is “really uncomfortable.” We are taught at a young age to “take care of the girls,” and then of course, they are introduced to the screening machine. It’s always a lovely day when you are naked from the waist up, a technician gently puts one your breasts on a machine that presses down on it as hard as it can attempting to flatten it to a thin pancake. And then you are asked to “hold your breath”. Believe me… you are holding your breath.
Yes, it is true that two men invented this x-ray device. I’d hate to experience foreplay with them! But in reality, the mammogram is quick. As women, if we can tolerate a pap smear and endure hours of labor, we can certainly have a 10 minute mammogram that can save our lives. And I personally want to applaud the hospitals and women’s centers that have worked so diligently to make the environment and staff warm and friendly–that certainly makes a huge difference. So despite the discomfort, regular screening is important and a must!
We all know the sense of fear when there is an abnormality found. Whether it’s a repeat mammogram or a biopsy, we immediately become filled with trepidation. And of course we immediately start thinking “What if?” If we should actually hear the words “breast cancer,” our biggest fears have now become a reality. Plus, we know that when breast cancer strikes, it doesn’t affect just one person – it affects everyone: family, friends, and an entire community. Dealing with that cancer now becomes a new way of life for the individual and the people around her.
My friend, Linda Brossi-Murphy, was one of the women who woke up one day to discover a tiny little lump was going to impact her life in a big way. However, she made the decision from the onset that she was going to take on her cancer with a bravery and attitude admired by everyone she knew. During her battle with breast cancer, she wrote a great book, “F*** Off Cancer.” With grace and humor, she takes you through her journey, and how she transformed cancer from a diagnosis with a year and a half of treatments, to a party with friends and family. I urge you to buy a copy of her book for you and for every woman you know. Here is the link to purchase this great book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0990921603…
While women have certainly played an active part in the Breast Cancer Awareness program, more recently, men have as well. If you watch major sporting events in October, you will surely notice many players, coaches, and fans sporting pink! Hooray for the men!
Yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But each and every day we should continue to support and encourage women to do self-examinations, have annual mammograms, and read up on preventative health tips. Hopefully the monthly awareness programs encourage women to do just that!
We all know breast cancer is not pretty, and breast cancer is scary. But the most important fact to remember is that when breast cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, it IS treatable and curable.
So everywhere you go, ask everyone you know to “get the Damn Mamm!