Fight Like A Girl for Breast Cancer
Every woman enjoys a good rub of the boobies, am I right? Come on ladies, you know it’s true. It feels good. Duh.
The only thing I can think of that would completely turn me off from enjoying an awesome boob rub would be…my doctor…checking me for breast cancer.
For all of us twenty-something college girls with pre-gravitized boobies, it’s time to wake up and smell the sterilized tools: breast cancer is common in women under the age of 30. Before you all go kill-the-messenger crazy on me, think about it. Breast cancer is not just a menopausal-mommy disease. In fact, research is concluding that young women with genetic risk factors are more likely to present symptoms at an earlier age. While breast cancer generally afflicts women over the age of 50, it is not uncommon for the cancer to appear in younger patients.
Since you’re all tenderly squeezing the life out of your B and C cups right now, here are a few shocking finds that all proactive young women should bear in mind as you try to stay as far from going under the knife as possible – that is, until you need Botox.
1. Self-breast exams are unnecessary
After years of urging women to go ahead and cop a feel in the privacy of their own homes, studies have shown this self-exam to be unnecessary. The rationale behind this is that these monthly self-exams do not reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at any age and result in increasing large numbers of unnecessary biopsies. Some researchers concluded that the self-administered exams made women even more nervous to check themselves, fearing that any ‘lumps’ might be cancer in the making. Doctors still encourage women to touch themselves (above the pants) to get to know their own breasts in the event that anything changes.
2. Breast cancer only occurs in women
Uh, wrong. In fact, the National Breast Cancer website concluded that each year over 1700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. So, the rubbing of the boobies that we were talking about earlier, well, men should also partake. Of the 1700 new cases, 450 men will died from this cancer. Since doctors have stated that self-exams are optional, there are other ways to check for any physical signs or symptoms: checking yourself (topless) out in front of a mirror or by ditching your loofa; covering your hand with some soap and scrubbing your breasts might alert you to any physical changes occurring.
3. If your mom had breast cancer, does that mean you’ll get it too?
Not entirely true, but you do have a point. If someone in your family lineage has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it makes your risk factor increase at any age. However, just because mom had it doesn’t always mean that you’re next in line for showing symptoms. Most women that do present positive for the cancer often have no familial history of the disease. If you’re concerned (you have every right to be), doctors advice having a mammogram five years before your family members diagnosis. While that sounds confusing, doctors mean this: if grandma was 55 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, you should go for a mammogram at 50. Say you’re part of the percentage of women who don’t have a family history of breast cancer; doctors still advice going in for your first mammogram at age 35.
4. “Breast cancer happens to everyone but me”
Think again. Research shows that breast cancer went from affecting 1 out of every 12 women in 1996 to occurring in 1 out of 9 in 2001. While that’s a small jump, remember that the year is now 2011. In 2010, more than 200,000 women were diagnosed with the disease and of that big number, 40,000 brave women lost their lives to the disease. Breast cancer is the number one cancer affecting women.
5. What can you eat to give your body the best fighting chance?
Don’t drop that delicious cookie you’re holding just yet, ladies. It’s okay to maintain the lifestyle you’re living right now but bear in mind that women (and men) who eat a diet rich with proteins and vegetables give their bodies the best fighting chance possible when it comes to breast cancer. Drinking in moderation, as well as exercising regularly, are two key ways you can best fight off your chances of diagnosis. There is no study that confirms women of different ages should perform different activities to best prevent showing symptoms. Men and women of all ages are encouraged to eat well and exercise to maintain their body weight. Studies have, however, shown a link between early menstruation and early detection of breast cancer.
While we’ve just dabbled into some preventative measures ladies and gents alike can take to protect themselves from cancer, there are dozens of other resources out there for public use. To end on a happier note, breast cancer is not fatal in every case. Women who have passed the five-year survival mark for localized cancer have a growing percentage rate (from 41%-93% depending on the cancer type) of live after detection. You can also check out 10 of the Hollywood starlets that we know of who have just begun – or have already won! – their battle with breast cancer.
So go on ladies, rub your boobies. Not ‘cause you have to. Just ‘cause it feels so good to.