Monday, October 28, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Since I have basically taken a hiatus from blogging this month, I realized that I have not blogged about October:  Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I looked at my posts from last year, and I have copied and pasted two of them.  These are the most important ones, in my opinion.

Also, Julie, Megan, Leanna, and I have been working this month on making drain bags and comfort pillows for mastectomy patients.  When we finally finish this project (we are making 72 of each item!), I will share some pictures and also instructions in case you want to make some too.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

 Some of the risk factors are things you can do absolutely nothing about, like your age and the whether you are a woman or not.  But many of the others are things that can be changed if need be. 

I am going to list them without comment, but if you would like to read in detail about these risk factors, visit this link at

  • being a woman
  • age
  • family history
  • genetics
  • personal history of breast cancer
  • radiation to chest or face before age 30
  • certain breast changes
  • race/ethnicity
  • being overweight
  • pregnancy history
  • breastfeeding history
  • menstrual history
  • using hormone replacement therapy
  • drinking alcohol
  • having dense breasts
  • lack of exercise
  • smoking
There is also a list of emerging risk factors, and you can click on the same link and scroll down to read the complete listing.  The emerging risk factor that interests me the most is eating unhealthy food.  I encourage each of you to read the article about eating unhealthy food.  

Since my diagnosis of breast cancer, I have made changes in the eating habits of both myself and and my family.  Especially since my daughters now have the unavoidable risk factor of family history, I want to do all I can to lower their risks in every other area.  What I feed my family in my home is one thing that I can control.  We have shifted to a mostly plant-based diet.  That means that with a few exceptions (like at other people's homes, sometimes in restaurants, and about once a week or so in our own home), we are eating very little animal products.  Very little meat and eggs and no dairy.   Also, I am still working hard to reduce processed foods from our diets.  

Please spend a few minutes to review the risk factors of breast cancer, and then see if there are any changes you need to make to protect yourself.

Screening For Breast Cancer

There are variations in the recommendations for the age to begin getting a mammogram as well as the frequency that the mammogram should be repeated.  You can ask your personal physician for his recommendation for you.  However, don't do like I did.  Don't put it off for two years when your doctor tells you that it is time to get a baseline mammogram. 
Here is a link about Mammogram Recommendation.  Also here is a link that includes lots of information about all kinds of breast cancer screening.

If you are 40 or older.  Do it.  Schedule your mammogram.  :)  If you are younger than 40, and if you have a higher than average risk of breast cancer, talk to your physician about his recommendation for your screening.

Ok....if you are still reading.....please be proactive with your health!  Know your body and be aware of any changes.  Early detection of breast cancer is important.

While I am thankful and celebrating my good health, I have also had a sense of sadness this month.  Two friends of mine have friends that passed away recently from breast cancer, and I also have a friend (a sweet member of my church) who has breast cancer.  She was diagnosed about the same time as me, but her path has been much, much different, and much more difficult.  She is technically in remission right now, but she has been through so much.  I think of her and pray for her and her health daily.  

So, in closing, be aware this month and always!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Roan! I wonder if sometime you could blog on how you changed over your diet. I think you ate fairly healthy before but I'm curious. I am trying to switch over and get my family involved as well. Snacks seem to be a problem for us. I have 4 kiddos-13, 6, 4 and 3. We've made the switch to almond milk and I've cut meat and eggs out of breakfast. Processed snacks are the problem!! ha! they're so easy, too easy!