October 8, 2013 marks SEVENTEEN years that my mom has been cancer-free! She recently shared with me that when she was diagnosed, she said a prayer that God give her ten more years; enough to see my sister and I graduate high school. The Lord has blessed us all with seven additional years on top of that, and I know many more to come! I am thankful every day for this powerhouse of a woman; thankful she fought and won the battle against cancer, thankful for her strength and dignity and thankful I get to call her mine!
So, what can YOU do to fight breast cancer?
- Self Examination – I vaguely remember awkwardly glossing over the topic in 8th grade health class, but that’s about it. So here’s a link if you need a refresher like I did: Breast Self Exam
- Yearly Mammogram – Beginning at age 40, yearly mammograms are a necessity for all women. Those with breast cancer in their family history are recommended to start these earlier.
- Run or Walk in a Race- Challenge yourself to run in a 5k race and set a monetary goal. This past weekend, the Komen Race For A Cure race in Charlotte raised over a million dollars. With locations all over the world, there’s no excuse to not participate.
- Purchase Items That Support Research: Women love to shop, so why not buy items that also support breast cancer awareness. Here is a great site with 55 products that support breast cancer awareness.
- Limit Alcohol Usage: Women who have three to six drinks a week versus women who don’t drink have a 15 percent higher risk of developing cancer.
- Limit Plastic Usage: Plastic carries the chemical BPA, a weak synthetic estrogen that acts as a hormone disruptor. BPA affects how estrogen and other hormones work by blocking or mimicking them, throwing off hormonal balance and increasing the risk for cancer.
The best news is that when detected early, the survival rate is 99 percent! Do what you can to protect the women in your life. I love you Mom, thanks for being a fighter!