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Let’s Talk About Your Hooters [October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month]

Let’s Talk About Your Hooters [October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month]

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All right ladies… Let’s get real with each other. Let’s talk about boobs.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and oftentimes, these awareness months go by unnoticed. I wanted to make sure that we put a little focus toward it because we’re all women, we all have boobs and breast cancer is a pretty important thing for us to be talking about.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canadian women.  They estimate that 22,700 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,100 women will die from it in 2012 alone.  Scary numbers right?  This post will point you in the direction of some resources as well as outline some facts and risk factors that will help start a discussion around breast cancer.  Please feel free to add anything else you might have – resources, quotes, etc. – into the comments.

The Thingamaboob

The Canadian Cancer Society has launched a website called The Thingamaboob, which features hilarious comic strips, some shareable content and facts on breast cancer.  The website is worth reading and worth sharing with other women.  It’s time that we got in touch (no pun intended!) with our breasts!

The Thingamaboob itself actually resembles a necklace with different sized beads on it.  The beads illustrate the size of a lump at various stages – the size it’d be if you got a mammogram, the size it would be if your doctor found it and then the size it would be if you found it.  A great visual to see the importance of getting regular mammograms.  Check out the Thingamaboob website here.

Avoidable Risk Factors

According to, there are some risk factors that can be avoided.  However, 60-70% of people have no connection to these risk factors at all and other people with risk factors will never develop cancer.

  • Lack of Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Poor Diet: A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Being Overweight or Obese: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause.
  • Drinking Alcohol: Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk.
  • Radiation to the Chest: Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage.

When to Get a Mammogram

Straight from the Canadian Cancer Society‘s website:

  • if you’re a woman 50 to 69 years old, get a mammogram every two years
  • if you’re a woman 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer, along with the benefits and risks of mammography
  • if you’re a woman 70 years or older, talk to your doctor about how often you should be tested for breast cancer

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, different people have different warning signs for breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. A person may find out they have breast cancer after a routine mammogram.  Some warning signs* of breast cancer are—

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.
  • Keep in mind that some of these warning signs can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.

If you have any signs that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.

(*Reference - Osteen, R. Breast Cancer. In: Lenhard RE, Osteen RT, Gansler R, eds. Clinical Oncology. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2001:251–268.)

Have a Question About Cancer?

Call the Canadian Cancer Society, toll-free at 1 888 939-3333/TTY 1 886 786-3934.  To date, they’ve received over 1,000,000 inquiries about cancer.  There probably isn’t a question that they haven’t already been asked.

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Comments (1)

  1. Crystal Wednesday - 31 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Great post Erin! So important for all women no matter the age!

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