Bring Your Brave!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bring Your Brave campaign. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I usually don’t do these kinds of posts but because of the topic I feel it is important. It is Breast Cancer awareness month and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the Bring Your Brave Campaign to try and inspire young women to learn more about their breast cancer risk.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart because I learned first hand about the risk of breast cancer when I was in my 20’s. One of my favorite aunts was diagnosed with breast cancer and I became her caregiver for a few weeks.

We had quite an interesting few weeks. She called me in the family room for something one day and I left a pan of chicken on the stove. I thought I’d taken it off of the burner until you guessed it, we smelled smoke. The kitchen cabinets were on fire and the house was filling with smoke fast. The fire department got there quickly and put out the fire. The really bad thing was my aunt was selling the house and the closing was the next day! It all worked out in the end but what a terrible day.

While I was taking care of her, the doctor she had told her all of her sisters and nieces should be tested for breast cancer as soon as we were 25 because of her age at the time. I took that advice and discussed with my physician what my aunt told me. I was first tested when I was 25 and continue to get tested as recommended. The last couple of mammograms have come back suspicious so I had to have a biopsy and a lumpectomy. I still get anxious to this day before I go for my mammogram but as soon as I get the results I am so relieved, even when I’ve needed a biopsy or lumpectomy done. I know because I’m being proactive about my breast health to increase my chances of catching cancer as early as I can.

We all know someone that has been affected with breast cancer, an aunt, sister, friend, or internet friend. We have to talk about this to our friends, families, or the neighbor next door about how important learning your breast cancer risk is. My cousin last year was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like me, she’d began screenings at a young age because of our family history. Because of her early detection they were able to remove it all and then she had radiation to be sure they got it all. Today she’s cancer free! Learn more about breast cancer in young women and how important it is to talk with your physician to determine what type of preventive measures (screenings, preventive measures) are most appropriate for your individual risk.  

Let’s look at some facts:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. 11% of all cases of breast cancer in the United States affect women under the age of 45, however, many young women do not know they are at risk.

Young women face a unique threat – when they are diagnosed with breast cancer it is:

o More likely to be hereditary

o More often diagnosed at a later stage, and often

o More aggressive and difficult to treat.

• Every woman can benefit from learning the risk factors for breast cancer. In addition to the risk factors all women face, some risk factors put young women at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at a young age. If you are under the age of 45, you may have a higher risk for breast cancer if-

o You have close relatives who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45 or ovarian cancer at any age, especially if more than one relative was diagnosed or if a male relative had breast cancer.

o You have changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), or have close relatives with these changes, but have not been tested yourself.

o You have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.

o You received radiation therapy to the breast or chest during childhood or early adulthood.

o You have had breast cancer or certain other breast health problems, such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia, or atypical lobular hyperplasia.

o You have been told that you have dense breasts on a mammogram.

• CDC encourages women to take three important steps to understand their breast cancer risk: o Know how your breasts normally look and feel and talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual. o Talk to your relatives about your family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Use CDC’s worksheet as a guide for your conversation. o Talk to your doctor about your risk.

  • Bring Your Brave was launched in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is its first breast cancer campaign specific to young women. Bring Your Brave aims to inspire young women to learn their risk for breast cancer, talk with their health care provider about their risk, and live a breast healthy lifestyle. The campaign tells real women’s stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. These stories about prevention, exploring personal and family history, risk, and talking with health care providers bring to life the idea that young women can be personally affected by breast cancer.

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