Breast Cancer

Self Breast Exam and the American Cancer Society

sbSo I have read the article from the American Cancer Society on their new breast cancer screening guidelines. And I am honestly having trouble not losing my mind…

The part that has smoke coming out of my ears is their opinion of lack of benefit of doing a clinical breast exam (breast exam done by your doctor) and breast self-exam (knowing your own boobs). They have stated this:

“Research does not show a clear benefit of physical breast exams done by either a health professional or by yourself for breast cancer screening. Due to this lack of evidence, regular clinical breast exam and breast self-exam are not recommended. Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.”

Research does not “show”… Well hell, I show. And the thousands (if not lots more) of other women and men who’s breast cancer was found from a self exam, they show.

In my opinion, I think the ACS is sending a potentially deadly message by saying that self breast exams are NOT recommended. And I, 100% do not agree with this recommendation. If we want early detection, and oh my God we do, then women and men need to use common sense. Do your self breast exam REGARDLESS of what the American Cancer Society recommends. Take care of your body and know your boobs.

The American Cancer Society is saying that women should still be familiar with how their breasts look and feel, but aren’t recommending the self exams. Right… So, call me crazy, but to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel, that usually involves a self exam.

Seriously folks, keep doing your self exams. For your breasts, your testicles or whatever part of your body.

I am alive right now because I did a self breast exam. I was not at average or high risk. I do not have a genetic mutation nor a family history of breast cancer. If we had only depended on a mammogram or ultrasound there is no telling how large my cancer would have grown. My whole damn boob may have fallen off before it was “detected” or it could and would have spread throughout my entire body. I am not saying that every breast cancer is caught from self exams, but so many are.

From the woman who found her cancer from a self breast exam. And the woman who felt a lump grow from continuing her self breast exams – just do your monthly self breast exams. My two cents on this issue from the woman who (apparently is continuing to refer to herself in 3rd person) but also extremely thankful to be here today. Because she did her self breast exam…

Lots of love and common sense,
Shannon
#IamNotAnumber
#IamNotAstatistic
#KnowYourBoobs

 

Photo by Dominique Attaway Photography 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Saundra November 6, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I totally agree with you, Shannon. And I love your KNOW YOUR BOOBS site! The sad truth is…. this ‘no more screenings’ is an attempt to stem the rapid rise in health care costs under the ACA. If you are over 60 (I think) they don’t even recommend mammograms any more – the logic being that if you DO get breast cancer, the treatments can probably prolong your life about as long as you could expect to live WITHOUT the cancer…. that is just wrong!!! But it’s not just us ladies that are taking a hit – they medical community is seldom doing prostate exams for the same reason because prostate cancer is a SLOW killer.

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