Mama Knows Breast: Adventures in BreastfeedingMama Knows Breast: Adventures in Breastfeeding

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 13, 2006

My brother, the doctor, sent me an email yesterday suggesting I do a blog post about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I thanked him, and then realized that it was sort of troubling that I needed that reminder. It was troubling that, in essence, I needed a reminder to do a monthly breast self-exam.

For some reason I've always been a bit negligent in this department. Maybe it's squeamishness. Maybe it's that I can't tell what's normal and what's not. Maybe I'm afraid I'll find something wrong. So now, in recognition of this month, I'm resolving to be more diligent.

A while back, when I was still breastfeeding, I actually had a huge bump on the side of my breast. It really freaked me out. Fortunately, it went away as soon as I fed the baby and was no longer engorged. But I did go to the doctor anyway. She did a thorough check and determined that I was fine.

Breastfeeding can actually decrease your chances of getting breast cancer, but you are still at risk. Heike Malakoff is someone who knows this all too well. She was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after weaning her twin sons. She has now started an organization called Check Your Boobies. Her website can teach you how to do a breast exam on your self. It will even send you a monthly reminder to do so.

, so take the time to think about this aspect of your health. Have your doctor do a breast exam at your next check up. Ask her if it's time for you to get a mammogram. And sign up for the Check Your Boobies email reminder.

For more information on breast cancer, or to make a donation to a breast cancer organization, check out these sites:
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute

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