No one likes to talk about the big C. It’s scary and talking about it makes it all the more real. I’m sure we all know someone who has had to fight the fight. We all wonder if there was anything we could have done. Could we have somehow prevented it? Were there signs? Could we have caught it earlier? Why me, or her, or him? There are so many questions, and unfortunately, not a lot of answers. Cancer may be a sneaky bitch, but there are things we can do.
Know your body.
Pay attention! Get to know your body inside and out. Yes, you will occasionally have to feel yourself up, or contract this out to a 3rd party (The hubs can be very helpful). Scrutinize every mole, every lump, discoloration, strange sensation, pain or numbness, significant changes of any kind, and of course, follow your instincts. Know what it’s like to feel your best so that you can recognize any dips in your health.
As it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, a self-breast exam is a good place to start in the quest to “get to know your body.” Here is a link to show you how it’s done.
Get your partner involved.
You and your partner should be aware of any physical and possibly even psychological changes in one another. Do skin checks on each other. Don’t be afraid to bring up any changes you see in your partner that they may not have noticed. For example, weight loss, a slight change in their gait or increasing forgetfulness. Talk to each other and stay diligent!
You are your strongest advocate.
So many symptoms of cancer can also be symptoms of something much less serious, so people tend to brush off these symptoms, believing they will eventually go away. This is why it is so important to know YOUR normal. If something seems off, it probably is. Yes, it could be something less serious and hopefully it is, but what if it isn’t? It doesn’t hurt to get it checked out.
Unfortunately, doctors also like to go with the easy answers and brush things off. This is when you have to start fighting. Fight for answers. Fight for treatment. Fight for your health.
Prevention! Prevention! Prevention!
There are so many types of cancer out there. Some of them are linked to lifestyle, like smoking, tanning, ingesting pesticides, radiation exposure, etc. Others come out of nowhere and no one knows why. The best we can do is to live as healthy as we can. Don’t smoke, always wear sunscreen, eat a healthy diet of organic foods, steer clear of radiation, and so on.
Cancer is tricky and likes to hide out until it’s much advanced. If you stay aware, stay diligent and practice prevention, you have a much higher chance of catching cancer in its early stages or avoiding it all together. So go check yourself before you wreck yourself.
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Breast Self Exam. http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam