THE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS ONE - Issue #39
Because, with all that's going on in the world, we still need to check on ourselves...
Welcome to the 45 Not Out newsletter and more importantly, with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’m dedicating this issue to that very thing.
Stats that I’ve come across whilst researching the topic - which I need to do since I’m not an expert - I sadly learnt that breast cancer is far more common in women over 50. It may affect as many as 1 in 8 of us. And all experts recommend that women of all ages - not just those over 50 - check their breasts monthly.
THINGS TO KNOW…
Now, for all pre-menopausal women, the advice is to check your breasts monthly on the same day. Doctors advise you leave it a few days after your period to allow the changes that happen in breast tissue around that time to settle down, and then perform a thorough check. Here’s a great video from an expert on how to check your breasts.
But for all us menopausal women who no longer have periods, the advice is, similar to above, to examine your breasts on the same day each month. And, to allow the time it takes to undertake a thorough check - don’t do it when you’re in a rush. Schedule it for such a time that you can spend time really checking and feeling as much as you need to.
BUT WHAT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS…?
If you do, you’ll be in the care of an oncologist or breast cancer centre and it’s likely they have details of support organisations you can seek out.
But there’s one that’s crossed my path recently run by Sam Lewis - herself a breast cancer survivor - and following her experience of getting over the disease, she set up a charity aimed at helping women of all ages who have had a cancer diagnosis - right from day one.
Sam’s Diamonds is the charity she founded in 2013 and it strives to create a nurturing environment for ladies to take positive steps towards getting their lives back after a cancer diagnosis and not to let cancer define who they are. They work closely with ladies to discover their needs, wants and aspirations, and offer the appropriate support to help them develop the confidence, skills and motivation to achieve their goals. They inspire members to step outside of their comfort zone by getting involved with activities they wouldn't usually participate in. This can be a huge confidence boost and lead them to realise that cancer needn’t be a barrier to trying out new experiences and seeking out new opportunities.
Sam jumps at the chance to teach women how to check their breasts. So, if you are the recipient of a recent cancer diagnosis and don’t know where to turn, it’s worth giving Sam’s Diamonds a shout and they can help or point you in the right direction to someone who can help.
So, in such complex and all encompassing subject, I hope I’ve been able to bring a little bit of respite - however tiny. If you are facing a cancer diagnosis right now and fighting this god-awful disease, I wish you health and healing on your journey.
With love from me