October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Have you scheduled your mammogram yet?

I schedule all of my preventive doctor’s appointments in October because it’s BCA month and Ginni’s birthday month. A little promise I made to her years ago. “Stay proactive in your healthcare” she always said. If I missed a mammogram, thunk on the head. What are sisters for?
You don’t have to have a family history of breast cancer. We didn’t. You don’t have to have the gene. We didn’t. But it happened to her. We had the same immune system. The exact same immune system. One hundred percent with all 6 markers positive. That is rare unless you are twins. We were not. We were 14 months apart. She got it and I didn’t. We found all of this out almost 14 years ago when we participated in a clinical trial at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD. And to this day, science is working to find out why. One of the studies that I know of is called Sister Study and I participated in it. How does the environment play a role in the development of cancer? I wasn’t a believer years ago but now I am. There’s something to it.
This is not a scare tactic, but just to make you aware. According to researchers I’ve talked to, almost all of them say that public awareness of the way breast cancer operates (or any cancer for that matter) is 25 years behind the times. It is up to everyone individually to stay on top of it. Any new lump warrants investigation. Any lump that grows definitely warrants investigation. Even before we have felt the lump, the cancerous ones have probably been in our systems for at least 5 years. Not everyone will tell you this. This is not information that goes “viral” on social media. But this is information that can save our lives.
Just because grandma had breast cancer doesn’t mean we are predisposed to it, but it’s a good indicator that we need to take the possibility seriously and step up our game. But just because we don’t have a family history doesn’t mean we’re immune. If it’s time for your mammogram, please schedule it. If you’re overdue, please schedule it. #BCAMonth #EarlyDetectionSavesLives