This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bring Your Brave campaign for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
As you guys know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
And if you’ve been around here any length of time, you know I have also been affected by breast cancer.
So when I was approached to talk about the CDC’s new “Bring Your Brave” campaign I knew I had to say yes.
This is obviously a subject near and dear to my heart and one that I am very passionate about.
Awareness, being your own advocate and just plain and simple…..being informed.
So whenever I have a chance to share information pertaining to it, I do!
Now, if you haven’t been around here long, or haven’t read my story, I’ll fill you in.
I have a family history of breast cancer. My mother was diagnosed at 57 and my grandmother on my father’s side was diagnosed at the age of 54.
Sadly, I only found out about my grandmother after I was diagnosed. It just didn’t seem of importance, I suppose. So that information (my grandmother’s) never made it into my medical files.
I was diagnosed at 43. The tumor was probably there 5, and as long as 10, years before that I was told.
After receiving genetic counseling and genetic testing, I learned I do not carry the BRCA gene.
I did, however, have extremely dense breast tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer.
Luckily, I was diagnosed at an early stage and am doing very well.
But did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States? 11% of all cases of breast cancer in the United States affect women under the age of 45, however, many young women do not know they are at risk.
Every woman can benefit from learning the risk factors for breast cancer. In addition to the risk factors all women face, some risk factors put young women at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at a young age. If you are under the age of 45, you may have a higher risk for breast cancer if:
- You have close relatives who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45 or ovarian cancer at any age, especially if more than one relative was diagnosed or if a male relative had breast cancer.
- You have changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), or have close relatives with these changes, but have not been tested yourself.
- You have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
- You received radiation therapy to the breast or chest during childhood or early adulthood.
- You have had breast cancer or certain other breast health problems, such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia, or atypical lobular hyperplasia.
- You have been told that you have dense breasts on a mammogram. ( I had dense breasts)
The CDC encourages women to take 3 important steps to understand the risk of breast cancer in young women:
- Know how your breasts normally look and feel and talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
- Talk to your relatives about your family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Use CDC’s worksheet as a guide for your conversation. https://www.knowbrca.org/downl
- Talk to your doctor about your risk.
All very important steps.
Number one, absolutely, that’s how I found the lump that led to diagnosis.
Number two on the list, please do this.
I had no idea my grandmother had been diagnosed until I told my parents that I had been diagnosed.
I suppose they didn’t see the importance of it and maybe there is no relation but you never know. That worksheet I linked to above, use it. It’s an awesome tool for you!
And number three on the list, do that too.
Open up a dialogue with your doctor and ask questions. Be informed.
Bring Your Brave was launched in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is it’s first breast cancer campaign specific to young women.
Bring Your Brave wants to inspire young women to:
- learn their risk for breast cancer
- talk with their health care provider about their risk
- live a breast healthy lifestyle
The campaign tells real stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.
To read their stories and to read more about this important campaign, see here –> women’s stories.
Now go print out the Bring Your Brave worksheet and know your risks….and be informed!