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Monday, October 30, 2006
Serious Public Service Announcement

The end of October is almost here, so with that comes the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Most everyone who knows me in a non-blog capacity knows that this cause is very close to my heart (along with the fight against AIDS, but you'll read about that another time). I've been fortunate enough to see some of my closest females survive this disease, and I've seen a few lose the fight as well. While I'm grateful that BCA month this year has been bigger and more successful than ever before, I hope the message isn't lost as soon as the last bag of pink ribbon M&Ms or "Awareness Mints" is taken off the shelf.

I'm not normally the type to do PSAs, but in honor of those who haven't survived, those who have, and those who are just beginning the struggle with this disease please make sure you get yourself checked. Do your self-exams monthly, and make sure to get your yearly mammogram.

My black sistas, please know that even though we are less likely to develop breast cancer, we are more likely to die from it. That's built into our genetic makeup. So forgetting or skipping your mammogram is not an option. Early detection equals early treatment, which can mean longer life. While we don't usually start getting mammograms until we're in our 30s and 40s, it's okay to begin doing your monthly self-exams much earlier. It's in so doing that we're able to more quickly and easily recognize any changes that could be potentially cancerous.

To do the self exam you don't have to follow any special chart, etc. I know of one woman who's boyfriend noticed the lump in her breast before she did because he was the one who did the majority of the "examining". That's cute and funny, but it saved her life. So however you're most comfortable doing the exams (whether you or your partner does it), it doesn't matter...just make sure it gets done.

Ok, I'm stepping down off of my soapbox. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


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