Have You Done Your Breast Cancer Self Exam Lately?
It’s October (already), which means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, however, it should be Breast Cancer Awareness Always. I mean, we shouldn’t only be doing our breast exams in October when someone on instagram reminds us, because we have our bosoms year round and therefore are in danger year round. Have you done YOUR breast self exam lately?
Here are three ways to get your monthly exams checked off your list!
1. Make Friends With Your Breasts
I imagine most Moms are now acutely aware that their Boobs do look like they used to, and if you’re like me you kinda just avoid looking too hard so you don’t have to feel bad about them.
Thanks to babies, no matter what your breastfeeding story was/is, your bosoms have most likely changed at least a little, which makes it hard to keep up with their new normal.
For me, 18 months into my Motherhood journey, they’re still changing. Currently, Flapjacks come to mind, but so long as i’m wearing a good bra, they at least look semi related.
I had a hearty laugh at the know your lemons campaign pun but it’s an easy to understand reference. Check for CHANGES that seem irregular in any way and contact your Doctor immediately if you notice something “off”.
2. Practice Self Exams
We all know by now that these are supposed to be done monthly, yes MONTHLY… in addition to the exam that happens at our annual Well Woman exams.
But do you remember how? Do you actually remember to even do it at all? Heres a very quick refresher: Do it the week AFTER your period when your breasts are least tender/swollen. There are 3 methods to do in EACH SELF EXAM: The 1st is in the mirror, the 2nd is in the shower with soap, and the 3rd is laying down.
For each step you should be searching for any size abnormalities, many are as small or smaller than a pea, which can be hard to find in a larger breast and hard to distinguish in a smaller or more fibrous breast which is why you go at it in three different ways. If you need more guidance, here’s a link.
Mark Those Calendars Ladies
Now that we’ve had our easy, “breast health refresher course”, let’s commit to doing this very important thing for ourselves, we can start building the habit right now, and keep it year round.
I’ll wait while you add “SELF BREAST EXAM” to the Sunday AFTER your period on your recurring calendar on your phone…
Hell, add a little home facial in there at the same time as part of your self care routine. Do the mirror part as you wait for your mask to dry and the shower part as you rinse it off. Then do the lay down part and gooooood night!
3. Empower Your Partner
I had a lump in my breast once, and you know who found it? Not me, and not my Doctor. Talk about a scene stealer. I make light of the situation now, but if that guy hadn’t been attuned to female anatomy I wouldn’t have been with him. *wink *wink
But seriously, If he hadn’t known what NOT NORMAL felt like, he wouldn’t have noticed the pea sized lump in my breast, and even then, blessedly he actually said something immediately.
I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you it turned out to be scar tissue. Scare the shit out of me scar tissue. So let’s teach our partners what to be aware of. It’s a simple 5 minute conversation that can happen over coffee, just implant it in their minds, let it be an invitation to touch your boob at breakfast and move on with your day.
Our breasts do SO MUCH for us and our Children, so let’s do something for them.
Ladies. I love you, I care about you. We are a community of Moms that need to show up for ourselves as much as we need to show up for one another, so please, take this time for you because your kids love you more than you’ll ever know and doing this one little thing for ourselves may be what keeps us around a little longer for them.