Yes, you read that title right. But you can go ahead and read it again if you're a little confused. In fact, read it over and over until the message sinks in. Feel your boobies!
Ladies, AND MEN, the best defense we have against breast cancer is early detection. A self breast exam takes only moments. You can do this when you take a shower, or before you go to bed; I promise that it won't impede on your schedule. You should examine your breasts every year, and according to the Susan G. Komen foundation, get a clinical screening every three years starting at age 20 and a mammogram every year starting at age 40. Feelyourboobies.com states that simply "feeling" your breasts, or using the pads of your fingers to press into the skin, examining the underarm and collarbone areas, may be just as effective as a formal self breast exam. The founder of Feelyourboobies.com detected a cancerous mass in just this way. Feeling her boobies saved her life.
So instead of wasting time trying to pretend that you are pregnant on Facebook, playing on everyone's sensitive emotions of joy, disappointment, and possibly even grieving, please take those few moments to feel your boobies. Then, tell someone you love to feel their boobies. If you have a teenage daughter, talk to her about the importance of self breast examination. I promise you, those few moments you take to do this will raise much more awareness about breast cancer detection than pretending that you are pregnant on online social media. (If you don't know what I am talking about, there was a game recently on facebook where women were pretending to be pregnant. The idea was, when anyone would ask about the post, the woman would say "Just kidding! Breast cancer awareness!" But most people never got that message, they simply had their feelings hurt. To add to the ineffectiveness, the message of just "This is for breast cancer awareness" doesn't really DO anything, now does it? We all know breast cancer exists, what we need to be aware of, is how to prevent it, and how to defend ourselves against it.)
And most importantly, if you feel something that concerns, tell your doctor. Don't feel silly or embarassed. March into that doctors office and say "I felt my boobies... and I'm concerned." If you don't tell your doctor what you've felt, then they may miss something important that could save your life!
This weekend, I will be running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k race at 8:00am on Saturday. I am challenging myself to make a personal record during the race. I am challenging YOU to feel your boobies, and to let someone you love know about the benefits of feeling their boobies too. Before I lace up my running shoes, I will be feeling my boobies!
I feel my boobies, do you?
and Susan G. Komen for the Cure (this page has instructions for formal self exams, and also what each thing that you may find means)