Stuff that I have found out that I think every woman should know, no matter what age they are. Please tell your wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, aunts, grannies, grandaughters, cousins, friends.
Your risk of Breast Cancer (BC) is different depending on how old you are, younger woman have less chance, but it grows quicker, older woman more chance, but it grows slower. We can’t win can we?
For over 50’s (changing to 47 in 2016) there is a screening programme, consisting of a Mammogram once every three years. This is not offered to younger woman, because it is not effective. Breast tissue is different in younger woman, it is more dense, so the Mammogram x-rays can’t see through it, so there is not much point in having one.
Just because you are younger and don’t have regular Mammograms it doesn’t mean that you are not at risk of getting BC, you still are. Your chances are less, but they are still there. You need to Self-Check. This is important! This may be the only way BC can be found.
When BC decides to hop a lift in your body, the one original cell multiplies, so 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 16, 16 to 32, etc etc. Once it has done this around 30 times, it is big enough to be felt. Before this point it can’t usually be felt by you or your doctor. It’s why the lump seems to appear all of a sudden! By the time it gets to the 30 times, it also has the ability to spread, this doesn’t mean that it has already or is about to, but it does mean you need to take action and luckily your doctor is committed to getting you a Breast Clinic appointment within 2 weeks. You find a lump, you deal with it.
If you are worrying that something you did a couple of months ago has caused this, don’t, each multiplication takes around 1-2 months, so by the time you can you feel it, you may have had it for around 2-5 years (each person is different). This is where Mammograms come in, they can pick up tiny lumps probably years before we can feel them.
Caught early, BC is treatable. The main reason for problems is late detection or women ignoring it! Don’t do that!!! Ignoring it goes through everyone’s heads, but just don’t! Way better to waste your Doctor’s time than waste your life!
Older women, please attend your Mammograms and Self-Check regularly, don’t rely on 3 yearly screening. Younger women, set up a Self-Check routine.
All ladies please set up a regular time to check, make it a habit and you won’t forget. You can get free reminders sent to you by text, see http://coppafeel.org/remind-me/. Have a look at http://coppafeel.org/ for lots more good info.
Please remember it’s not just lumps but any changes that you notice, see http://coppafeel.org/boob-check/
Remember you can always get someone else to check for you!!