The stats say Breast Cancer will affect one in eight women.
Take a minute to think of all the super-rad ladies you have in your life – it’s practically impossible to be unaffected by this disease in some way, at some point.
Girls, it’s time to take charge!
(I’d better add a side note here, as BC does not just affect women. One in 100 men are also at risk. So while the risk is a lot lower, our boys are not completely out of the picture.)
Prior to my own diagnosis, I was completely blasé about the threat of Breast Cancer. I thought the risk was predominantly a genetic one: If you had it in your family, you were at a higher risk of getting it yourself. If not, you were practically immune. In reality, a mere 5% of Breast Cancer diagnoses have a genetic basis. In the vast majority of cases, cancers of the breast can affect anyone and while there are certain factors that heighten your risk, a lot of the time it just comes down to good old bad luck.
So what should we do?
Australia currently has free mammogram screening every two years for all women between the ages of 40 and 75, so ask your GP if you want to take advantage of this service.
For those of us under 40, paying attention to our breasts and checking them monthly is really important.
By by the time I was diagnosed, my tumour had grown to 7cm, a stat that continues to baffle and frighten me daily. How on earth was I completely unaware of something that big and malignant inside of me? How was my body able to keep functioning so well without giving me any major signs of disease? All through 2014, I had felt fitter than ever. I was exercising regularly and even ran my first half marathon in July – with a 7cm tumour bouncing in my right boob!
For a lot of women my age, the idea of being struck with breast cancer is not on our life’s radar. But it needs to be. None of us are invincible.
So please, go and check your boobs. Do it now, and do it regularly.