We as humans often abuse and neglect our bodies. We fill our bodies with junk food, we sit on our butts instead of exercising, and we neglect to get tests that are important to making sure we are healthy. Our bodies are precious works of art created by God, yet we hurt them. It’s your body, and you must decide how you want to treat it. As you know, it is breast cancer awareness month. My question to you is, “Do you love your body enough to get a mammogram?” It’s your body and your choice, but it’s also your life. Don’t you want to live it?
Here are some facts for you. A mammogram can identify about 87% of breast cancer in women. This statistic can be found on the Susan G. Komen site https://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/AccuracyofMammograms.html. The National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. states in an online article called Early Detection, “When breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.” https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/early-detection-of-breast-cancer/
So if mammograms have an 87% chance at finding cancer and survival rate of early detection is a 100%, then wouldn’t you want to get that uncomfortable test done? Wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to make sure you detect breast cancer early? You could skip a mammogram and take the chance that you’ll never get breast cancer, but do you want to leave your body and life to chance? It’s your body and your choice, but don’t you want to be safe? Don’t you want to know what’s happening within you?
Taking that chance is like jumping in water with a shark in it and hoping you don’t become its food. Chances are the shark is preoccupied on another catch and it won’t even notice you. Then there’s the other option: it sees you and chomps right down. You could be swimming freely without a care in the world or struggling to get out of the water alive. It’s the same with cancer. Chances are you may never get cancer and then there is the chance you do develop the disease. If you never get a mammogram, cancer can grow and spread. By the time you realize you have it you find yourself fighting to stay alive or worse.
I didn’t want to take chances with my life. When I turned 40, I started getting my mammogram and at age 44 they found something. It turned out to be stage 1 and stage 0 ductile cancers. I also found out I had the BRCA gene which increased my risk of getting ovarian cancer and breast cancer. I was lucky I didn’t have to go through chemo. I did have a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy to avoid a reoccurrence. That was no fun, but it could have been a lot worse. If I would have skipped that test, the cancer could have spread to other parts of my body. I could have gone from stage 1 and 0 to stage 4 which is the highest stage of cancer. I could be dying, but instead because I wanted to take care of my body, I’m cancer free.
Even if you do catch cancer at a later stage, it is still treatable. I have a friend with stage 4 cancer who was diagnosed three year ago. She is on chemo for life. Cancer has spread to other parts of her body, but she is still with us. She’s with us because her disease is being treated. She takes one day at a time and knows her limit, but she keeps on fighting. She makes wonderful crafts. My aunt has stage 4 cancer and is a doctor. She hasn’t let her illness hold her down. With treatments these two ladies keep on going. If they had let their disease go untreated, they may not be here at all.
These women and many other women are living because they took care of their bodies and did self-exams and got a mammogram. I’m alive because I decided to get my yearly test done. I hated it, but I got it done. It’s very uncomfortable. They put your breasts in a machine that smashes them and takes pictures of them. It doesn’t take long to get it done. It feels strange having someone else touching your breasts, but it’s worth it. If it comes out negative, than you can let out a sigh of relief, and if it comes out positive, you’ll have a long road ahead of you, but you can beat it.
Take care of your body. Get those tests that can save your life. Don’t leave your life to chance. Stop putting off that mammogram, stop making excuses for not getting it done, and step up and call your doctor today. If you don’t have insurance, there are programs that will help pay for a mammogram. So get on the phone or online and do your research. Treat your body with the respect it deserves and do what’s necessary to protect it from disease.
This month means a lot to me. October is breast cancer awareness month and I’m proud to wear pink and tell people I am a survivor. Because I took care of my body, I am standing in the light of recovery one year cancer free.