Earlier this week my friend let me know that her mum was to have surgery today because she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, she also made it clear that there was practically a 100% chance of everything going well, because her mum had caught the signs so early that she could have convinced anyone she was a doctor trained in the subject!
A few years ago, while walking home from school, that same friend and I had discussed cancer (well hey, not everything us 13 year-old girls discussed made us sound boy-mad and included the phrase "Ugh, parents just ruin your life!"). Cancer seemed like something that was distant, that would never affect us or anyone we knew. And in recent years we have both come to accept that that is just not true.
Cancer can affect anyone. Mums, dads, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends, enemies, frenemies, even your dog! Like my friend's mum, it's important to be aware, and to be able to amaze doctors with your speedy skills of health deduction.
Catching the signs of cancer early makes people so much more likely to survive it. Please, be aware. And remember to, as the kids say (I suspect they say it on a completely unrelated topic but hey), check yo self.
Here is a link to a page telling you how to self-examine yourself to check for breast cancer. And if you're not in a reading mood (um how did you get this far down the page) or just for reference, then here is a handy little diagram telling you what you're looking for:
Adding to this, there are several videos on YouTube for you to get a better idea on what on earth you're meant to be doing! Search 'breast cancer check'.
Also, if you're taking part in this year's Race for Life then good luck - you're working towards a fantastic goal!