A pair of breasts is one of the unclassifiable wonders of the world, right up there with the Sphinx and the orgasm. Breasts are not limited by size, shape or color constraints.
They can be both sexual and maternal. They do not adhere to specific racial, social or religious boundaries (so, if you’ve been praying for larger or smaller ones, more power to you).
Some are adored. Others are abhorred. Some are altered surgically and some are measured daily and others massaged nightly.
Breasts come in an endless variety and have countless comparable characteristics.
The main similarity? They’re all breasts, and for this reason, each is susceptible to breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
All women should take precautionary measures to protect themselves against breast cancer, as it is the most common cancer among women in the United States and the leading cause of deaths in women ages 20 to 39.
It is treatable (and curable) 83 percent of the time if detected in the early stages. The disease is not specific to age, and can affect women as early as the teen years and becomes progressively more likely to occur with age.
Breast cancer is also not specific to gender. Men are not immune, although they account for only five percent of cases.
However, every man has a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a female friend or a daughter who would benefit from examination.
The check-up process is simple and easy. A monthly self-examination will catch recognizable lumps, hard areas, thick or dimpled skin and knots.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation recommends that these examinations be conducted at the same time every month (for example, before or after a menstrual cycle so that they remain regular).
This will help to identify changes. In addition, women over the age of 20 should schedule mammograms once every three years to add security to the prevention process.
Check out the steps to self-examination on page seven. Get in the habit of conducting one every month, and what better month to start than this one?
According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women have a chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, and simple check-ups could greatly increase your chance of early detection.
In my eyes, that’s a pretty good reason to start touching your breasts.
Nadia Stadnycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org