The added evil of breast cancer is that it strikes women at the core of our femininity*.
Breasts are important in our society: when they don’t nurse our children, or turn potential mates’ heads, they are objectified by the media and used to stir up controversy—whether due to public breastfeeding or televised “wardrobe malfunction”. Cosmetic surgery statistics show that breast-related cosmetic surgery numbers blow the rest of cosmetic procedures out of the water.
Yet, with all this attention paid to the breasts, we still have not found the cure and have a long way to go in educating the public about the disease, testing, and ways to reduce the risks.
*It is important to note that Breast Cancer is not exclusive to women, it strikes roughly 1 in 1,000 men.
Know the risks
The two biggest factors of getting breast cancer are gender and age, however, overall health and lifestyle choice also matter. Factors such as smoking, excessive weight and stress can all increase the chances of getting Breast Cancer. One’s risk DOUBLES if you have a first-degree relative who’s had the disease.
It’s also important to note that roughly 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which not only increases the risk to 55-65% due to BRCA1 and 45% due to BRCA2 mutation (6.8% for men), but also affects younger women. The mutation of these genes also carries an increased ovarian cancer risk.
For more information about the factors affecting your risk of breast cancer and to download the Think Pink, Live Green: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer brochure visit Breastcancer.org and be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for an instant PDF download.
Check the girls
Early detection has been crucial in reducing Breast Cancer mortality and increasing one’s chances of recovery.
Conduct regular Breast Self Exams. Use this handy infographic from iTriageHealth.com.
Annual mammograms are recommended by American Cancer Society for women over 40 or those in a higher risk group. For more information on different types of testing and screening available, including genetic testing visit here.
If you are already in the stream of this disease, stay in the middle of the ‘boat’. Surround yourself with those who can support you on your terms, uplift without taking away from your process, encourage without belittling your struggle, and, most importantly, help you navigate this mire without losing yourself.
MMFT’s own, Susan Flynn, is not only a gifted therapist, but a Breast Cancer Survivor herself. Read her story here. Starting on October 22, Susan will facilitate a weekly Breast Cancer Support Group. For more information download flyer.
Those who’ve gone toe-to-toe with breast cancer know that even the smallest things can affect a shift in energy, spirit and healing. MMFT is proud to host a Bra Recycling Drive to benefit women-survivors of Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence. Donate your gently used and unused bras at our office during the month of October.
For more information download the flyer here.
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