Today I wanted to talk about something on a more serious note. With it being October, which as we all know is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to talk about that today. Breast cancer holds a special place in my heart since many women in my family have battled this cancer. Which is why I did all the research on what you need to know about breast cancer. Every October we wear pink to show support for those battling breast cancer, and to bring awareness to it as well. Plus an incredible amount of research and information comes out this time of year to help inform us all a bit more about it as well. However, along with all the actual information, there’s always some false information flying around as well. Typically old wives’ tales that are so weird, they sound like they could be 100% correct.
Which because of that it made me question some of the things I thought about breast cancer.
Which is why I’m happy to share some tips from BHG360˚ Bankers Healthcare Group, who help provide financial solutions to healthcare professionals. To read more about them, and all that they do, click here.
So What Can We Do?
Granted, we can’t change our genetics, but we can change our lifestyles.
There’s a reason I’m always talking about putting in those 30 minutes a day of exercise, and eating a balanced diet. When we don’t properly take care of our bodies, our bodies can’t function properly. Whether that’s by being at an unhealthy weight, not getting enough exercise, or eating an improper diet. Our bodies need us to take care of it.
This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or break the bank at the grocery store either. You can do some simple at home workouts that I mention in my apartment workouts post. Plus in all honesty, it costs more to eat an unbalanced diet, than it does a balanced diet.
I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but let me explain. When eating a more balanced diet filled with fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. You’re eating foods that are more filling, and are denser than junk food. Fruit is mainly fiber, which fills you up, same with vegetables. Plus we all know protein is filling as well due to it taking our bodies longer to break down.
Compare that to an unbalanced diet filled with sugary snacks, with no nutritional value, and nothing to help tell your brain your full… That grocery bill can become a nightmare.
When to Start Checking For Signs:
Breast cancer doesn’t just affect women over age 45 – the age women should start getting mammograms – but instead it can affect anyone at any age. My cousin found a lump in her breast in her early 20’s, and it turned out to be breast cancer. Despite that women are told not to worry about breast cancer until they’re older, it can develop earlier in life.
In recent years doctors have determined through various studies that self-examination may not be all that effective for discovering lumps. Since 80-85% of lumps are benign – meaning not cancerous. Due to how sneaky breast cancer can be, you could self-exam every day, and then one day find a walnut. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t self-examine your breasts either.
Quick Anatomy Lesson:
Breasts are made up of fat, nerves, blood vessels, glandular tissue, fibrous connective tissue, and a milk-producing system of lobules, and ducts. This alone creates a rather lumpy, and uneven terrain.
Difference Between Benign Lump, and a Cancer Lump:
What I’ve understood from all of my research through the years, and reading one of my college level health textbooks is:
What typically separates a benign breast lump from a cancerous breast lump is movement. A lump that is fluid-filled and rolls between the fingers is less likely to be cancer compared to a lump that is hard and rooted to the breast.
Granted this doesn’t mean that if you find a lump that moves, and is fluid-filled that you should write it off. Even though 80-85% of lumps are just benign lumps, there’s always the chance it could be more than that.
Plus the only way to make sure it’s nothing serious is to go to your doctor, and have medical tests done. Such as an ultrasound, mammogram, or a fine needle aspiration.
Granted, not all benign breast lumps will require additional tests. If you find what seems to be a fluid-filled cyst during your menstrual period, your doctor may want to check your breast again at the end of your period to see if it has disappeared. If it goes away, you and your doctor will know that is was caused by the fluctuations in hormones.
Also if you have a family history or someone in your family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, make sure to tell your doctor, and have that conversation with them. They can help you come up with a plan that’s right for you, and the best for your health
Did you learn something about breast cancer you didn’t know before?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.