Think Pink!

Photo by Whitney(;

Many of you probably know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As women, we need to educate ourselves about this topic. Breast cancer is a subject close to my own heart as my maternal grandmother passed away from this disease, and 2 of her sisters have been diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. As a result of my family’s history and my own medical history, I have begun the process of getting screened at least every other year for breast cancer.

CNN ran an article today that was very informative. In case you missed it, I’ve outlined the highlights in bold. In italics is some information from yours truly:

1. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, get an MRI. This recommendation comes from the American Cancer Society. The ACS also recommends getting a digital mammogram when possible. For those whose insurance won’t pay for these services, you can appeal the decision citing the recommendation of a doctor and/or the ACS.

2. Get a copy of your mammogram report. A letter stating your mammogram is normal can be wrong. An important fact to note in the report is a notation about the density of your breasts. See number three.

3. If you have dense breasts, consider having an ultrasound or MRI. Getting both a mammogram and an MRI can be more effective than getting a mammogram alone. If your insurance company won’t pay, appeal the decision.

4. Look for your BI-RADS score. Here’s your biology lesson for the day. Your BI-RADS score is a number on a scale of one to five indicating how likely you are to have breast cancer based on your mammogram. A score of one indicates no cancer and five indicates that the mammogram is “highly suspicious” for cancer. This score can help determine your next step in fighting against this often deadly disease.

5. Talk to your radiologist. According to the article, a woman never meets the person who reads her mammograms. But who’s to say you can’t try! I must admit, I suffer from intimidation of the medical field. I often remain quiet when I should be asking questions. This is too important an issue to remain silent about! Intimidation can thwart early detection!

The bottom line, ladies, is that we must be educated and proactive about our health. This is from the woman who has been sitting on a script for the last several weeks to go have her mammogram.

It can be easy to let life get in the way. But what happens when cancer gets “in the way” of life? I’m making my appointment as soon as possible. I hope there are women over the age of 40 or with a strong family history like my own who are going to do the same.

In the meantime, join me in praying for the approximate 207,090 women who have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, the 54,010 women diagnosed with non-invasive (early stages) breast cancer, and the families of the 39,840 women who have passed away from breast cancer in 2010. Some of these are women you have known. Some of these are women reading this right now.

Though I don’t know all of you personally, I care about your well-being. Please be proactive. Please be praying.

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