Boobs, breasts, the twins, whatever you like to call them just make sure to take care of them! (FYI there is more than 100 nicknames for breasts.) Breast health is so important and it is not something that only affects women in the later stages of life. So, be BFFs with your boobs. “You cannot wait until you are in your 30s to start a healthy relationship with your breasts.” (Shaney jo Darden, KAB Founder).
The facts are increasingly alarming, with studies showing that a third of women do not perform a self check because they are afraid of what they may find. Meanwhile, more than half said that they fail to perform regular checks because they have not been taught to do it routinely. Never let anyone tell you that you’re too young for breast cancer.
- Young women usually experience more aggressive breast cancer and lower survival rates. (American Cancer Society)
- In the U.S., 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. (American Cancer Society)
- 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. (John Hopkins Medical Center)
- When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%. (National Cancer Institute)
Keep A Breast is a non-profit organization and their mission is to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support. It has three core programs: Check Yourself, Non Toxic Revolution, and Treasured Chest which all have unique ways of promoting breast health through art, education, awareness, and action.
- The Check Yourself! Program aims to encourage young people to perform a monthly self-check. You may have seen or recognize their signature “i love boobies!” bracelets.
- Non Toxic Revolution (NTR) informs, educates, and inspires young people about the dangers of toxic chemicals in their environment and food supply—especially those linked to the initiation of breast cancer.
- The Keep A Breast Treasured Chest Program (TCP) is KAB’s signature artistic support program for breast cancer survivors.
Keep You Tatas In Check
Some tips for good breast health include:
- Eat your greens! “Studies have suggested that eating a lot of fruit and veggies may be associated with a lowered risk for developing estrogen-receptor-negative breast tumors” (Self Magazine)
- Maintain a healthy body weight: weight gain and obesity may increase your risk of breast cancer
How To Perform A Self Breast Check
- The shower: Put your left hand behind your head. With your right hand, use circular movements to examine your left breast for lumps or thickening. Feel lightly, then press firmly, feeling for anything deeper. Next, examine up to the collarbone and out to the armpit. Then do the other side.
- The mirror: After showering, check your breasts in the mirror with hands by your sides. Look for changes in colour or shape, dimpling of the skin or pulling in of the nipple. Put your hands on your hips and push your shoulders forward to check again, then check with hands raised over your head.
- Lying down: Lie on your left side with your knees bent; roll your shoulders back so they are flat on the bed. Place your right arm under your head. Your breast will now be as flat as possible. Examine your right breast using the methods in step. Reverse the procedure to check your left breast.
Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation https://www.sbcf.org.au/