My yearly physical is this morning. I try to schedule it around my birthday every year. That way it’s easier to remember. Like changing your smoke alarm batteries when Daylight Saving Time changes. (2 a.m., Nov. 3 – if you’re wondering when to Fall Back.)
It’s also handy that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Sometime in the next week or so, I’ll also go in for my annual “Knead and Squeeze.” I’ve religiously submitted to this body morphing exam for the last 15+ years. Only once was an anomaly found – a small lump in my right breast. A marker, shaped like the Cancer Awareness ribbon, helps the radiology techs keep tabs on the little pest.
A favorable biopsy result then doesn’t lessen the anticipation I always feel now waiting on my test results. A family history of breast cancer puts me in the high risk demographic, a factor that always lingers on the fringe.
Still, it’s important to keep going for my mammograms and ultrasounds, and keep doing self-exams regularly. My anxiety is also reduced when I know all of my friends, both female and male, are also taking care of themselves by performing self-checks and/or going for mammograms.
If you are a woman of a certain age (40-something) and haven’t had your baseline exam, call your doctor before the end of the month and set an appointment. Men need to do self-checks too, they are not immune to breast cancer.
Don’t let anxiety, fear and anticipation of “what-ifs” stop you from a potentially life-saving procedure.