Awareness: Breast or Total Body?
October is national breast cancer awareness month. You know, the month where athletes wear bright pink, retail outlets cover their shelves with pink merchandise, some folx slap a pink ribbon magnet on their car, and we all ”become aware”.
Breast cancer is not the #1 cause of death for women, and yet it (and only it) gets our focus for the month. What about all other health issues, or even other cancers?
The subject of breast cancer is serious. Doing self-exams to encourage early detection can be extremely important. Nearly all of us know someone touched by cancer. The rise of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month has gotten us part way there, and creating awareness around issues that concern us is always a positive thing.
Let’s broaden our focus to more than just this one area of our bodies. ALL of our parts are important and worthy of attention.
Total body awareness can lead to the early detection of all sorts of illnesses or cancers. So let’s focus on noticing changes, lumps, pains, swelling, or extra fatigue. Take the time to meditate each day, even if you just call it taking a moment to do a body scan, and really sit with your body. Feel what parts are calling out for attention. Listen to them. And yes, listen to your doctor and do a breast self-examination as recommended. The important thing is to know your own body, explore it, and pay attention to when it feels different.
What else can you do in October and beyond? Explore your family medical history. This gives you important clues in finding out if you have an increased chance of developing certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, uterine, and colorectal cancers. We want you here, we want you healthy, and we want you to put yourself at the top of the to-do list year-round.