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Breast Cancer Awareness- Knowing the Signs and Protecting the Future

October is Breast Cancer Awareness as most of us know.  Breast cancer like all cancers is a terrible disease that not only affects our health but can cause physical changes that alter our appearance.  Women are bred with the idea that our looks are one of our most important attributes but despite this being archaic thinking it does put stress on a woman to put her appearance first. The effects of breast cancer can be emotionally, physically, and mentally dangerous.
Cancer is a scary word, but with medical advances we can be ahead of it by getting checked for it.  My family has the cancer gene and many of my family members have gone through cancer treatments with success and some have not.  For me I choose to be checked every year because while I didn't test positive for the gene there is still a risk.  I want to be here for my children and grow old with my husband.  

How to Get Tested
When you get tested you need to make sure you have a plan either way- a support system to help you through the options you have if you do carry the gene or the support system to help you make life changes to keep yourself healthy.

If cancer is a possible genetic issue in your family you can go through genetic testing known as BRCA tests 1 &2.  This test relies on saliva from the person getting tested so the testing labs can run a profile on your genetic makeup.  While the results are not instantaneous, the labs are quick to get results back to your doctor.

Mammograms- It is recommended for women in their early forties to get a mammogram.  The process is less than pleasant but it is a necessity.  There is no harm in getting checked earlier than your forties though.  I had my first mammogram at 32 and while it was the most uncomfortable medical process I have ever been through it gave me piece of mind. 

The most common thing we forget to do is be mindful of how we feel.  We know our bodies and if something doesn't feel right go get yourself checked out.  Cancer is a scary word but let's scare it away by taking care of ourselves. 

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