Young Women And Breast Cancer

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The greatest joy in my life and something that I count as my greatest blessing is the reality that I'm surrounded by great women. From my mother, grandmother and sister (and other women in my family) to my friends and school club members. I'm also very proud to be a part of this blog and being one of these great women who write on here. I was with my girlfriends talking about fashion, boys and politics (in that order) and we ended up on the topic of breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness and we were discussing whether there was enough awareness out in mainstream media.

One of my friends mentioned how she hadn't heard any noise from brands aimed at women with regard to breast cancer, she was disappointed at the lack of messages. Another friend stated that she was glad that brand were keeping quiet, that she'd much rather hear/see public service messages from health practitioners that be bombarded with pink-washing AKA "buy one pink fluffy thing and get another because it's breast awareness month." I must say I agree with the latter. I was proud and moved earlier in the month when The Corporate Climber penned a post on breast cancer. It reminded me of the time when my mother took me to the gynecologist when my period started giving me trouble. It also reminded me of the time I first saw my sister doing a breast exam on herself; it all reminds me of sisterly love and that I'm not alone.

After spending an afternoon talking about breast cancer I thought I'd go out and seek the information that i believe should be on hand for women of all ages, if not everyday then for the duration of the month of awareness.

1. Breast cancer is harder to detect in younger women (under 40) due to us having denser breast tissue. Frequent exams are recommended.

2. Most young women ignore signs and changes (a lump, unusual discharge, changing nipples) and without the advantage of early detection it is harder to fight. Please double-check any changes with a doctor as soon as you notice them.

3. Only about 20% of women in South Africa have gone for testing and screening in their lives, this one of the reasons CANSA cites for more than 3, 000 women dying from breast cancer.

The news aren't all bad as early detection is still the best hope; a breast exam (correctly self-administered or from your physician) should be a part of all our lifestyles.

Cheers to the weekend.

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