Thursday, 20 August 2015

Look for Lumps = Look for Life

Be honest ladies, how many of you have run your fingers over what felt like a lump, had a mini electric shock of fear course through you, then hurriedly move your fingers away and ignored what you may have just found?  

My hands are up, I've done it in the past!  My boobs are naturally lumpy anyway and whenever docs and nurses had a rummage in them, they always found something, but it was always a harmless natural lumpiness.  Anything that I found I always put down to that too. I quite simply sectioned it off to those compartments that us girls have in our heads, that are titled "nothing to be worried about". We don't want to make a fuss and take up the time of NHS staff for simply nothing. But that really isn't the right attitude nowadays.  

I bet you will know not only 1 person with Breast Cancer, but more likely at least 2 or 3 if not more.  You may even know people that have passed away from it.  It does seem to be everywhere now.

Thankfully when I felt my lump, I just knew it was a nasty one.  It felt different.  But I did have that fleeting moment of thinking "Ignore it", seriously I did!  Luckily that disappeared from my brain in a nanosecond.  But what if it hadn't?  What if I had ignored it?  Not wanted to make a fuss, not wanted to go through the awful waiting for results? The period of keeping it quiet in case it was nothing and I looked a fool for making a song and dance over nothing? Quite simply, my lump would have grown and spread, I would be looking at a very different scenario than the one presently before me.  

Once you can feel a lump it has the ability to spread, this means you have to leap into action, not sit around pondering whether to do anything about it!   Did you watch "The C-Word" recently on BBC1?  It was raw watching for me as I had only just been diagnosed, but a Mammographer that I know, reported an increase of 30 women who, following the programme, noticed changes in their boobs and followed it up, 3 of those women were diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  That was just in one hospital in one town.  Potentially that one programme has saved 100's of lives.

So you see if you find it early enough and follow it up, you may well save your life!  We have to accept that Breast Cancer is out there and its likely to get you, so let's stop it in its tracks!

I want looking for lumps not to be equated with a dire outcome, but a positive one, looking for lumps should equal looking for life.  Go looking for lumps, understand your boobs, know their road map, know how they feel throughout your cycle, you will then stand a good chance of feeling any changes and acting upon them straight away, look for life.  Impress on your daughters and granddaughters that this should become a habit for life.  I support the Coppafeel charity because they start with the youngsters, they offer a free checking reminder service. Take up that service whatever age you are.  Lets make lump finding a positive thing. Please also remember it's not just lumps, but any other changes too.  Get to know your boobs!