Breast Cancer – Aside from October being one of the cooler months of the year, and a special month for kids to go trick or treating dressed up as an eerie ghoul to scare people witless, it is however on a more serious note Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For some women being greeted at the door by a vampire, devil or witch, the fright at that moment is nothing in comparison to the fear they feel inside after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time when women and young girls are alerted to the importance of early detection. This does not mean that women are not made aware of what is involved with breast cancer treatments, self breast examination and recovery issues all year round; it is just strongly more focused upon in October through Breast Awareness Campaigns. These types of campaigns have great pulling power where we see more and more women coming forward to get themselves checked out, and their questions answered.
As it is with most organizations and support groups they need financial help to keep up the good work. Breast cancer groups will include people who care, and are compassionate towards your feelings. It is also most likely that them who run the groups are, or, have been patients themselves. Cancer care workers will help you the best they can to come to terms with having breast cancer, be there for you when undergoing treatment for breast cancer…right through the recovery period and after care.
If you would like to help these people who work tirelessly tending to the sick, then you can. Some people will run a marathon to raise funds for breast cancer while others may put on a show and sell tickets to make money for their breast cancer charity. Why not take advantage of Halloween night and get a few friends together and dress up, and instead of holding a lighted pumpkin, hold up a placard with a message saying all monetary donations will be donated to the breast cancer campaign.
It is likely that a great deal of women reading this will know how to do a self breast examination regular, but for those oblivious more details on this below.
Let us direct our attention to women who are recovering and survived the disease and want their life back to normal. In most cases of breast cancer it is not only the patient affected and included with all the heartache, your partner, close relatives and friends, and more heart rendering if there is children. The numbers are high for women suffering from breast cancer who get to see their kids grow up, all because they detected a lump early in their breast before it could further reach a dangerous stage (life threatening.)
Some helpful advice
No matter how much some tells you not to be scared and everything is going to be fine, you will always debate this in thought due the fear of knowing you have the Big C. Getting over the initial shock of having your your GP tell you – you have breast cancer, you may benefit and feel more content reading up on the disease. This will help you understand more clearly about breast cancer, of which in the past you might never had given much thought too, until receiving the news you had it. As long as the advice is got from a reputable source like “breastcancer.org” then take heed because the information they provide is right and safe.
Having chemotherapy treatment can drain you of much energy so get someone in to help you with household chores. Do not try and overdo things around the home, remember you are recovering and your body needs time to heal.
Join a support group for mental strength. You might find talking about your cancer, your family, your fears, your hopes and much more to other patients who are willing to reciprocate in this manner will help greatly, and you can also learn a lot from others ailing, and how they overcame them.
Talking about your breast cancer or any other type of cancer is known to help, but only when you want to. Some days you may feel that talking is what you need, while at other times you do not. There is always going to be them awkward moments when friends and family will try to avoid having to talk to you, or sadly come face to face with you if your out and about. This usually happens because they do not know what to say. If your up to it then break the barrier that is making it difficult for them to communicate. Let them know you are not upset if they bring up the subject, and for them not to tread on eggshells when around you. This is when normality comes back into your life. The longer you keep quiet so will the others.
If you can speak openly about your condition you get to evade those dreaded silent moments. Only talk about your condition when you are good and ready, and do not be bullied into it.
You have to be positive about your condition if you can, and avoid being around folks with a somber look. They may well be saddened for you, but explain to them that their feeling down is not helping.
No matter how strong of a person you are, and positive about the whole thing, there will be bad days and weakness, that is fine and perfectly natural. There will be crying days of which is expected, so bawl your eyes out if it makes you feel any better. Undergoing chemotherapy and radiation is hard, and crying promotes healing.
Live in the present the best you can – the past cannot be undone and the future is unknown; many of our fears might not happen.
Live your life as fully as possible and carry out the activities that give you the most joy and meaning.”
Recognise that you have control over how you react to situations, even if you cannot control what happens to you.”
Learn to accept your negative feelings such as anger, sadness and hatred – this may help them to pass.”
Concentrate on relaxing with a relaxation tape.”
Keep a diary about what you go through to help you understand and express your feelings.”
Take part in breast cancer networks – this may help you feel that, through your experiences, you are helping other women in a similar situation.”
Try to keep your sense of humour – even though it can be difficult at times!”
The positive thing to do starting now is to do regular self breast examinations to help prevent having to go through any of the above mentioned ups and downs, pains and treatments for Breast Cancer.
How to Perform a Self Breast Examination
The ideal time to examine the breasts is right after menstruation because they are not as sensitive tender or swollen.
Lie down and put a cushion under your right shoulder.
Place your right arm behind your head.
Using the tip pads of your 3 middle fingers on your left hand press gently and feel for lumps or thickening in your right breast.
Get a feel of how your breast feels first. If your uncertain of how much pressure to use ask your GP.
Learn what your breast feels like most of the time. A firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast is normal.
Move around the breast in a circular motion or the up and down movement. Do it the same way regular at an allotted like (1 month or sooner.)
Now examine your left breast doing exactly the same.
Repeat the examination of both breasts while standing, with one arm behind your head. The upright position makes it easier to check the upper and outer parts of the breasts.
Other signs and symptoms of abnormality are dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple, redness, or swelling and nipple discharge being another.
Come on girls get cracking on making those Halloween costumes and go make money for Breast Cancer. You will be saving lives by doing this, and who knows may be your own, or someone close to you.
Halloween Costume Tip: Go dressed up as nurses and doctors with fully painted up zombie style faces. Without early detection of breast cancer then in the future there may be no need for face paint, it is your call.