Lessons Learned From My Close Encounters With Breast Cancer

In the summer of 2012, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to check out some pain she was feeling under her right arm and while the pain wasn’t related to the cancer, the doctor did find cancerous lymphnodes which she had surgically removed. Over the next year, my mom underwent both chemo and radiation therapy and today she is cancer-free!

At the end of 2013, I noticed a small lump under my right arm and decided to monitor it to see if it would evolve into simple acne or go away. It did nothing. I didn’t want to alarm my mother but by January 2014, I finally told my mom about it and before I knew it, she was pushing me out of the house to get a mammogram. I did both a mammogram and ultrasound and even though I will have a biopsy, the lump is benign…yay!

Ironically, in February 2014 my publisher called me to write an article for the National Post on early breast screening, which is basically a screening for breast cancer in a perfectly healthy woman. Kind of like how we have a regular physical or dental checkup, the screening is to make sure you catch any signs of breast cancer before it gets too serious.

I should note that even though, my mother took all the right steps, it was an error on the part of her doctor that caused her cancer to get to the stage that it did. The check-up she did before the pain under her arm revealed an abnormal lump that the doctors never followed-up on, nor did they report the results to her. The lump was probably on or before a stage 1 when the doctor found it and by time she was feeling the pain under her arm, it had reached to stage 3.

I wanted to share my article: Early Breast Screening Saves LivesΒ because now more than ever, I realize how important it is to keep a close watch on your health before something small evolves into something more serious. We can not leave the matter of our health solely up to our doctors. We all know our bodies well enough to be able to tell when something is wrong and even though a lot of us are diligent and take our health very seriously, a lot of us ignore the signs and signals our bodies give us to let us know something is wrong.

Read the article here and while you’re at it, you should also check out my article on: Preventative Measurs For HPV And Cervical Cancer.Β Studies show that 75 percent of Canadians will be infected with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV),Β which could lead to cervical cancer.Β If you suspect your child may be engaging in intimate and sexual behaviour with their partners, you need to get educated on preventing HPV and more importantly, cervical cancer.

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