60-80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer under 40, found the abnormality through self exam or by accident.
And I am part of that majority. I found a lump through intuition and a self breast exam, and I needed to be persistent until the doctors would do the imaging. Throughout my experience, I wondered how different things would have been if I'd found it later, or if I'd let the doctors dismiss it as probably nothing.
That's why self-exams and body awareness is key for young women; for everyone really, but in the case of breast cancer, it is uniquely important for young women. Not only do the majority of young women find the abnormality themselves, but the impacts of breast cancer differ for younger women, for reasons such as hormonal, biological and treatment differences.
Here's a few more statistics to understand how breast cancer differs for younger women:
Regular self-exams and being familiar with your body and it's cycles, makes it easier to detect changes and determine what is normal for you and what might not be. And, of course, having a healthcare provider you trust is also important, and can be even more effective as you get established over time.
If you need more information on how to do a self breast exam, check out these guidelines from the National Breast Cancer Foundation or this 2-minute video by DiscoveryForMe (selfies optional!).
And now through November 7th, the #CheckYourself shirts are available for sale. Grab one and remember to #checkyourself + tell your friends to do the same! Proceeds will be applied towards medical bills & support non-profits @thesamfund + @positive.community.kitchen.
Purchases in Eugene, Portland, and Reno will have pickup events in late November. If you want to pick yours up, select pickup at distribution for no-fee pickup with me! 🎁
#youfeelingme #checkyourself #beforeyouwreckyourself
📷 @c.arrowood 👚@trianglegraphic
*Statistics quoted comes from various research but is also compiled by Young Survival Coalition; they are now in their 20th year of supporting women through legislation and research for breast cancer under 40.