Why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Important for Young Adults

Cancer isn’t something that I ever really thought of while growing up; when I did hear stories about it, it was always about older people. I would always think ‘Oh, cancer is an old people thing’, since I was fortunate enough to not have anyone my age who was close to me diagnosed with this horrible creature. But then, the real world hit me and I slowly started learning more and more about cancer. I started following all these cancer pages on Instagram because I just couldn’t believe some of the stuff that I was hearing. I couldn’t believe that children were being diagnosed with this monster before they could even learn to walk. I couldn’t believe that children weren’t being allowed to be children and their families were using their last penny to get them these intense drugs that would not only kill their cancer cells but suck the life out of them at the same time. I decided to unfollow these pages for a while because it made me unbelievably sad. Then I realized that these families didn’t have that option and that this was their entire reality and the least I could do was keep up with these personal stories.

 

Cancer does not see an age

Think you’re too young to be diagnosed with cancer? Think again. The number of people in their 20s who are being diagnosed with cancer on a daily basis is one of the most frightening things to think about. The statistic is roughly that 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer, which is absolutely heart-breaking. This is why it’s so important to regularly give yourself breast exams and to bring up anything that you think is out of the ordinary to your doctor.

 

Regular check-ups are a MUST

Not sure how to give yourself a proper breast examination?

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam

This gives a step by step method of how to give yourself an examination in the shower, in front of the mirror as well as lying down. It is also recommended that you give yourself a self-checkup at least once a month.

 

Know your family history

While it is true that cancer can just happen to anyone, genetics do play some role in this. It is important to know what your family history with any type of cancer, or if there is some family illness that may lead to cancer. It’s better to know too much than too little, and it is super important to share these findings with your doctor. Early detection can save a fortune in medical bills as well as emotional, physical and mental trauma.

 

Cancer does not see gender

When most people think of breast cancer, they usually think of women (hopefully this still isn’t the case in 2018). But men do get cancer too, and it’s a very harsh reality. It is admittedly very rare, less than 1% of breast cancer reports occur in males, BUT IT STILL HAPPENS AND WE CANNOT LEAVE OUR MEN OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION.

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer-in-men/about/what-is-breast-cancer-in-men.html

For your reading pleasure.

 

Participate in awareness events

This is the part where you can actually get involved. It may not seem like much, because there are always 5ks going on, but I promise you it does make a difference. It makes people who have suffered and survived this battle know that they are not alone; it makes people who have lost friends, children, mothers, aunts and grandmothers know that they are not alone. One of the best things you can give in this lifetime is love and your time, plus it’s free and we all have it. It’s also super important to make sure that your friends and family are doing regular checkups and know the risks with certain medications.